Community Impact

Citizens of Lyons, Hygiene, and Longmont are expressing concerns about the proposed mining operations in the St. Vrain Valley.

  1. Truck traffic on Hwy 66: Imagine up to 240 truck haul trips per day, departing and
    born1945, Close (CC BY 2.0)

    born1945, Close (CC BY 2.0)

    Public domain image from the U.S. Marine Corps

    Transporting aggregate, public domain image from the U.S. Marine Corps

    returning, from the mining site added to the traffic along Highway 66. This busy artery already connects the local communities and is the primary tourist route to Rocky Mountain National  Park. Will we be experiencing more accidents, broken windshields, dust, and noise? We note that a traffic study has not been conducted at any point over the past twenty years.

  1. Waiting at railroad crossings: Gravel will also be transported on the BNSF Railway; up to 6 trips per day of 35 rail cars each.
    Railroad Crossing

    Railroad Crossing (CC0 Public Domain)

    Car traffic wait times will be increased at rail crossings on 75th in Hygiene and in Longmont at Airport and 9th, Hover and 3rd, and downtown Main Street. These are all key commuter routes between Boulder, Longmont, and Hygiene.

  1. Lighting: Lighting on twenty-foot high poles are proposed to remain on until 8:00pm around the processing plant for security purposes. This is incompatible with the rural nature of the valley and disruptive during the winter months for the many neighbors who live in near proximity, along with wildlife.
  1. Potential for local wells to go dry: The proposed ‘dewatering’ of the gravel pits can cause local wells to go dry. The Boulder County permit states that these impacts shall be ‘mitigated’.  By what means?  Having a water truck deliver water?
  1. Loss of scenic valley views and animal/bird habitat: During mining (allowed until 2033 under the current permit), residents, cyclists, birders, photographers, and other outdoor enthusiasts may find that their enjoyment of the beauty and tranquility of the valley diminished. Wildlife habitat will be affected as well. Will
    Surface Mining, Weld County, CO, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Scherrer

    Surface Mining, Weld County, CO, 2017. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Scherrer

    the beautiful pastures in the valley be returned to their current state after mining?  Or will ineffective attempts at reseeding leave us with an ugly, dusty gravel landscape?

The Boulder County Commissioners’ permitting process will determine the answers. Make your voice heard.  Contact the Land Use Department and the Commissioners with your concerns and join us by visiting our Call to Action page.

For background on the current gravel mining site plan, see our page on Martin Marietta’s Special Use Permit.