Friday, October 17, 2014


By Ziggy Fumar

Mother was infected last night. She's barely breathing…her molecules have lost their scent.

But I can see. It's funny. The lightness of It. The meaning. No more pretending. No more Other. Just me in the woods. And this plague.

At the bottom of a hill to climb. Before a gate to enter. In a cave to fantasize. Beside a whore to hold. And fondle. Outside. In the park. Within the woods. Fine. The air is crisp. Her molecules lose their taste. Now this.

Foul water. Pestilence. They took her away, staggering her molecules, deaf and mute. Within a word. Beyond the course. That war, a famine means nothing…To speak, we must find something to say…especially when we're speechless…where going home is running away…where love betrays a specific treason…the wilder we become.

One won't bury whatever one fails to bring low…Its vapors will rise …polluting nostrils everywhere…

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Something from Ziggy Fumar...


The entirety [that apparently happens] might be denied…

So that's what s/he reportedly said s/he said, but not entirely…

S/he said…and this isn't quoting:

"I" should be re-placed with "this"…

s/he then allegedly said that perhaps the grammar would then need tweaking…

make "this" 3rd person "s/he"…

possibly the 2nd "you" gives way to "us" "us-ing" "we" "we-ing"…

nostering noster gnosis knowing maybe…

etc. & et al

Then BOOM! This shit s/he said, using us:

We we-ing notice how the most trivial, generally pleasing, harmless poesy passes through a bowel of diverse cilia, some of whom are certainly quite plucky, new and thus, in this smoke-free office space smelling of floor wax, jaded to death…for all time full of shit &

Dying, This can't think that…we we-ing wooly mammoth us us-ing, sleeping the dinosaur sleep with one egg open…dreaming and seeing This with It using us us-ing It wickedly…being what the us us-ing we we-ing potential's confronting, becoming kinetic…the more

This resisted this the less it mattered…s/he said s/he said no…but It—etc. & et al—said fuck it…all together


And vice versa…

[1]Everything that existed must be contradicted. Justine herself personified a wicked contradiction: Libertinism and Virtue [Erotism, Bataille, p. 101]. This paradox seams a debauchee asset, ohm-ing an orthodoxy negating their glut, their persistent be-ing as is...

Friday, May 30, 2014


An Open Letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Synopsis: The three most important reasons Frontier Stone should not be allowed to develop a quarry in the Alabama Swamps are: 1) The impact statement avoids a rational appeal that allays the heightened civic concerns over its plan; 2) Frontier Stone can't empathize with nature lovers; 3) Frontier Stone has shown itself to be uncaring and dishonest in all drafts of its environmental impact statement, and should not be trusted to run a quarry in such a sensitive place.

Note: I waive my copyright to this article. Please feel free to copy and paste the whole thing or just part of it. Use it as you will, hopefully to write the proper authorities. Thank-you.
May 31, 2014

To: Scott Sheeley, Regional Permit Administrator, Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414

Cc:; State Sen. George Maziarz; Assemblywoman Jane Corwin; Joe Martens, DEC; Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Rep. Chris Collins; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Sen. Charles Schumer

Subject: Frontier Stone's Proposed Quarry in Shelby

Dear Mr. Sheeley:

I'd like to thank the DEC for rejecting Frontier Stone's four previous draft environmental impact statements regarding the proposed Shelby Quarry.

I bet you wish the state would pass a three-strike rule so company's like Frontier Stone would stop wasting your time and taxpayer money with nonsense like this.

Reading the final [fifth draft?] I can just imagine your frustration's peaking, as I have 41 specific objections to Frontier Stone's environmental impact statement in three general areas, and I'm by no means an expert. That means I expect you should be having many more substantial problems with it, being that you're tasked with environmental conservation by the citizens of New York state.

These are the general categories my objections fall under:

1) Frontier Stone's proposed quarry's environmental impact statement avoids any rational or reasonable appeal to counter and allay the heightened civic concerns over its plan;
2) Frontier Stone's planned quarry would negatively affect the lives of more local residents than it would benefit. Most visitors rely on the Alabama Swamps as a place to reinvigorate their souls and live fuller lives more involved with the planet and their natural surroundings. Frontier Stone seems unable to empathize with a nature-loving sensibility;
3) Frontier Stone has shown itself to be uncaring and dishonest in all drafts of its environmental impact statement, and should not be trusted to run a quarry in such a sensitive location, going the extra step necessary to preserve INWR and state wildlife management areas.

Please excuse the outline format and length of this critique, but the mind-numbing redundancy and convoluted nature of Frontier Stone's statement made it difficult to absorb, much less coherently re-present.

The outline method seems to offer the most coherence.

I've taken the time to spell things out because I love the swamps so dearly, and would hate to see this project move forward.


1.  The DEC required the DEIS because of the proposed quarry's potential to "impact wildlife and wildlife habitats found in and adjacent to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge," especially regarding the effects of blasting. The statement does not adequately address this concern as there are no long-term studies on the effects of blasting on wildlife habitat similar to the swamps.

2.  Of particular interest is the effect the quarry will have on flood control, especially in light of weather resulting from global warming that would make Frontier Stone's plans for dewatering the quarry inadequate. The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment from 2011: "Over half of the Refuge is wetland (6,500 acres) with 4,000 of these wetland acres contained in 19 managed freshwater impoundments [this does not include the two state Wildlife Management Areas]. Water levels are adjusted within and between years to mimic natural hydroperiods associated with unaltered wetlands.

3.  Page 7 details a whole lot of blasting. I live 3 miles east of LaFarge in Lockport, which is allowed to blast only once a month. When it does, the windows in my house rattle. I can't imagine what it's like on Hinman Road. I also can't help but wonder about the integrity of the berms undergoing such constant shock waves. Most important, I shudder to think how the wildlife will handle this invasion of their refuge. No adequate studies have ever been done…to do so would be cruel.

4.  Page 7: "During operation of the quarry, groundwater and precipitation will seasonably accumulate in the quarry sump, initially located in the southeast corner of Phase 1. This water will be discharged via pipe to the adjacent agricultural drainage ditch via a settling basin system pursuant to a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit…" We're talking about a possible average of 1.44 million gallons of water per day containing dissolved natural gas, salt brine and hydrogen sulfide entering the Oak Orchard Creek watershed [if the climate remains the same]. The DEIS ignores climate change, among other things.

5.  "There may be instances such as NYSDOT mandated night paving projects that necessitate mining and (or) processing outside of normal hours." (pp. 7-8). Considering the drastic increase in truck traffic and the effect of seismic waves on roadways, one might imagine ongoing road construction and a seemingly continuous mining operation. Also, "Operations that are limited to these restrictions do not include, maintenance activity or other operations associated with industrial activity at the site (ex. HMA production or RMC production)." This could totally mess with the circadian rhythms of neighboring fauna, and much more.

6.  "If an emergency situation occurs outside the Department [of Environmental Conservation's] normal working hours, the permittee shall notify the Department the next business day." [p. 8] REALLY? NEXT TO A NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE? IF SOMETHING HAPPENED 6 P.M. FRIDAY BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO CONTACT ANYONE UNTIL 9 A.M. TUESDAY?  63 HOURS OF SPILLAGE WITHOUT HAVING TO REPORT? REALLY?

7.  Have any studies been done on the effects of long-term blasting on the wetlands' water table, silt, clay and bedrock? What about climate change? These concerns are ignored and Frontier's mitigation [p. 21], of "avoidance and buffer zones" and use of existing drainage ditches is dishonest and/or absurd.

8.  The entire DEIS depends on the historical climate remaining the same.

9.    "…it is apparent that there will be no drawdown impacts or disruption of flow from the groundwater flow systems associated with the Oak Orchard Acid Springs…The amount of impact, if any, is only theoretical at this time [as is the lack of impact only theoretical]." And once again, climate change is not considered. What happens if we have much more or much less water for extended periods of time in the not too distant future? Considering the "interconnected nature" of the present Lockport dolomite formation, might a more thorough water study be appropriate?

10.           Pages 116-17, which discusses "Water Quantity," where it states "The construction of the quarry…will introduce a certain added volume of groundwater to the normal runoff volume" of the normal amount of precipitation that falls on the "project area and migrates to the Refuge," thus affecting the amount of "normal" run-off from the Refuge, considering the climate remains normal. The water quantity estimate is "based on the proposed plan to pump continuously throughout the year (including the winter months) and under the assumption that all the precipitation during December, January and February will accumulate as a snow pack that is assumed to melt during the month of March…It is also assumed that there will be no evaporation in March. The assumption of accumulated snow pack and lack of evaporation…will occur during the winter months…September is the month when water levels are at their seasonal low and the associated inflow to the quarry will be at a minimum."  What did Felix Unger say about ass-u-me?

11.           On page 123, the DEIS states that "Ditches and culverts below the USFWS-controlled Schoolhouse Marsh dam have been assessed and found to be or more than sufficient capacity to accommodate the quarry water discharge. Little to no change is expected in these downstream systems from the quarry discharge water." But again, what about radically different water quantities thanks to climate change? On page 125, the DEIS admits that increased water discharges from the quarry, even without considering the possible radically increased amounts of precipitation due to climate change, will result in changes in or adaptations by the fauna and flora to "adapt to the new equilibrium." Not if the weather's unusual for a few years. Even more asinine is the DEIS effort to extrapolate for "precipitation on an annual average basis. The precipitation data used in this case was obtained from the NOAA…Rochester station…for the year 2012." [127] A yearly average takes more than one year of measurements. Those measurements should also occur on site, not in the next county closer to Lake Ontario. This is really shoddy work.

12.           In its mitigation plans, Frontier claims "The location of the site access road is placed far from potential off-site receptors to minimize off-site impacts." In other words, the quarry's gate is as far away from human residences, which means it's as close as feasible to the swamps. These priorities are contrary to the stated purpose of INWR and the surrounding complex. The statement further addresses air quality on p. 54, referring to the "few farm residences along Fletcher Chapel Road, Sour Springs Road and Southwood [sic] Road, which are existing receptors for air emissions." They forget to mention all the wildlife and other humans "using" the land for "recreational" purposes. Astonishingly, this DEIS uses ambient measurements from a Rochester air quality station in Monroe County as typical background measurements of air quality in the swamps rather than actually test the air there [Rochester is also downwind of the Swamps, as the prevailing weather patterns flow from the west in general, southwest in particular]. So the background air quality for INWR is the same as downwind Rochester's industry and exhaust emissions from road traffic. It also uses state average ambient air qualities as a measuring stick, rather than the air quality that actually exists in the swamps now. So, of course, the quarry activities will not exceed Rochester's air pollution. Nice. The rest of the air quality study is based on industry standards and funded research from the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

13.           On page 111, the DEIS states: "Explosives used during the excavation process are comprised of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, a potential contaminant to groundwater quality… Nitrogen, carbon dioxide and steam are produced upon detonation…These byproducts would be diffused and dispersed into the air at levels so low that it is unlikely that a potentially significant impact would occur…Environmental factors such as the introduction of acid rain or changes in groundwater table elevation due to, for example, drought [or flood, climate change] conditions can alter groundwater chemistry affecting solubility of minerals." This is as close as the study comes to admitting that future projections based on historical data are faulty.

14.           Also, the estimated decibel level of a similar quarry the DEIS compares Shelby to has an average decibel level of about 75, which lies somewhere between a vacuum cleaner in the next room and something loud, intolerable like a jackhammer in the street [Figure 15 and p. 160]. On page 166 the DEIS reveals that quarry noise at the Iroquois Job Corps will be 56.3 decibels, somewhere between an air conditioner and "loud unusual background noise." The same holds true at the Mallard and Schoolhouse Marsh overlooks.

15.           Traffic and Transportation—"Potential impacts from trucks include [and therefore are not limited to] combustion emissions and dust, noise and impacts to local traffic patterns [no mention of road maintenance that could waive the quarry's normal operating hours]…The project is projected to generate a daily average of 8 to 10 trucks per hour [about 1 truck every 6.25 minutes] based on projected maximum annual production over 220 days. This is equivalent to 128-160 truck trips per 8 hour day (64-80 trucks entering and…exiting [the Sour Springs Road gate])

16.      Fishing—"There is no water body suitable for fishing within the AOI. No disturbance to fishing activity on Ringneck March [sic] is anticipated based on distance." FALSE. THE MARSH IS ABOUT A HALF-MILE AWAY. THERE ARE NUMEROUS SPOTS TO DROP A FISHING LINE WITHIN A MILE OF THE QUARRY.

17.           Hiking—"Current refuge regulations would restrict hiking to designated areas from March 1 to July 14. There are no hiking trails within the AOI near the quarry and none are proposed." It should be noted the seasonal restrictions are due to nesting Canada geese, great blue heron, osprey, bald eagles, great horned owls, and numerous other creatures giving birth in what is a designated safe haven. The mining will definitely affect them in numerous ways. But also, it's important to note that two trails, Onondaga on Sour Springs Road and Swallow Hollow on Knowlesville Road, are about 2 miles south and southeast of the proposed quarry…so again, like the canoeing, the study's walking a fine line here…p. 15

18.           In April 2006 the DEC said "The wildlife assessment needs to be significantly expanded and must clearly identify impacts to the nearby Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The assessment must include habitat impacts related to blasting, hydrology, noise, dust or any other potential environmental issues." [Vol. 3, Appendix 2, p.6]. THE FINAL IMPACT STATEMENT DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO DOING THIS.

19.           APRIL 2006, DEC ASKED FOR "a more thorough analysis of seasonal discharge volumes and impacts must be provided." [p.7] IMPOSSIBLE IN LIGHT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

20.           APRIL 2006 DEC: "The conclusion that ongoing mining and blasting activities will have no impact to wildlife in the INWR is unsupported [ARE THERE ANY OTHER COMPARABLE MINES LOCATED NEXT TO A WILDLIFE REFUGE WETLANDS?]. The assessment of blasting focuses primarily on structural impact to nearby buildings. A discussion regarding the impacts of noise and vibration on wildlife and wildlife recreation is needed [NONE PROVIDED IN FINAL DRAFT, NONE EXISTS, THIS QUARRY WOULD BE THE EXPERIMENT].

21.      DECEMBER 2009 DEC response, p. 38: "The report indicates [p55] that no potential bald eagle habitat exists on site, however, eagles could potentially use habitat on the refuge just to the south of the proposed site. Due to this species' need for 'quiet solitude' as mentioned in this report, the quarry could make a section of the refuge unusable for bald eagles in the future, both for nesting and other activities….Please provide detailed methods from field surveys. In particular, include the methods used for bird surveys including both on and off site. Short-eared Owl surveys (time periods surveyed, survey methods, survey locations, etc.) Also provide details from the walking survey of the Refuge. Spring bird surveys should be completed in the area of the refuge adjacent to the proposed quarry…" THEY DON'T ADEQUATELY DO THIS IN THE FINAL DRAFT, AS ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH THE SWAMPS WILL TELL YOU THESE NUMBERS CAN FLUCTUATE DRAMATICALLY FROM YEAR TO YEAR…


1.  Page 7: "The bedrock will be drilled and blasted by industry standard techniques. Blasting will take place on an as-needed basis. The days of the week or frequency is determined by market conditions, weather conditions and operational restraints during quarry development. NO WILDLIFE OR HUMAN[E] RESTRAINTS CONSIDERED.

2.    Truck traffic will travel on Oak Orchard Ridge Road [1 every 6.25 minutes]…There is a potential for annoyance to wildlife watchers at the Schoolhouse Marsh overlook [omitted here are Mallard and Ringneck Marsh overlooks and those accessing Oak Orchard Creek and the newly developed trail on Rt. 63, onto which these trucks must turn]. It might also be noted this "potential for annoyance" would last a lifetime, as the planned quarry would operate for 75 years.

3.  On p. 21, Frontier says it plans to "mitigate" the quarry's effect on wildlife by easing into the mining over a long period of time to "allow a gradual relocation of common wildlife species, if any, to a new habitat location." It's important to note the DEIS is only talking about wildlife on the property, not the surrounding area. But the effect will likely be the same, a dwindling of INWR's wildlife over time.

4.    Furthermore, the dodgy report says in a roundabout way on page 61 that a pair of Northern Harriers were seen foraging on the site and likely nest nearby. On page 60, the statement minimizes the importance of the swamps' rebounding bald eagle population, in which there are four active nests, by citing the fact the bird was delisted by USFWS as an endangered species due to its recovery. Horned Larks, however, a state species of concern, are present on the proposed quarry site. The statement minimizes this concern by saying horned larks "are a fairly common breeder locally in western and central New York." When it comes to osprey, the DEIS is false: "TES observed one osprey fly  over the site on July 13, 2010 and one was recorded on the INWR during the 2012 breeding bird survey…Recently an active osprey nest was observed on a powerline pole in the National Grid easement near the substation at the south end of the site." Typically, these folks did one-day walk throughs and looked at historical records. I can tell you for a fact of many more osprey and bald eagles nests around the complex—two in Ringneck Marsh alone. The blasting, if it's anything like LaFarge's, will destroy this habitat as well as an ever-changing blue heron rookery of several hundred nests. This rookery, a wonder to stumble across, is never mentioned in the DEIS. Frontier proposes these Wildlife mitigation measures [p. 210]: "Phased mining will allow a gradual relocation of wildlife species to a different habitat location." So Frontier's suggesting wildlife will have to seek refuge from the refuge.

5.  Frontier claims "Hunting has not been impacted by the numerous quarry settings elsewhere in the region." As wildlife disperse due to loss of habitat, they form rich pools for hunters to dive into. It's like herding them. Deer shell-shocked from mine blasts, covered in dust, with increasingly dense populations are easier prey than healthy deer. But are they as good to eat if they were overly-stressed and sick at the time of shooting? I also wonder if Frontier Stone is even aware of wetland trapping. Hunting is more than just using a shotgun on deer.

6.    Interestingly, of the six alternatives to this project listed, only one, "No action," implied no quarry. A rather interesting way of presenting the situation…

7.  The DEIS states INWR was created in 1958 from what "appears to be abandoned from active agricultural use within the last 50 to 60 years" [in other words, it's a wasteland; the statement says nothing about the duck hunters who made it happen through the Duck Stamp Act]…It goes on to say current plans for INWR usage "provides a proposed management plan for the next 15 years," after which the INWR plan and purpose can be modified [p. 32]. TO WHOSE BENEFIT?

8.  Page 219 lists Frontier's best guess at the proposed quarry's "Adverse Environmental Impacts That Cannot Be Avoided:" Increased traffic on Sour Springs and Oak Orchard Ridge roads; Increased noise near the project site; Permanent removal of farmland; Potential for temporary development of a groundwater cone of depression. Obviously missing from the list are the effects on wildlife and the emotional, spiritual toll this suffering will have on nature lovers [I can hear them laughing at me right now].

9.    APRIL 2006 DEC: Any increase in noise on the area will detract from the peaceful atmosphere which many visitors enjoy when visiting the INWR and state WMAs. You asked Frontier Stone to address this issue in these terms and it failed to do so.

10.      Page 154, INWR's manager states that "…If the project site was not farmed, the only alternative would be residential development…This site could be used as open space and in fact INWR has asked the landowner if he would be willing to sell the land to be incorporated into the refuge. The landowner declined…" I feel a certain hostility toward nature and the rule of law here on the part of the small minority of local individuals who would benefit from this deal at their neighbors' expense.

11.           INWR's 2011 response, pp. 185-86. "…the statement that an area is not conducive to hikers is a values judgment. Different people have different perception regarding what is a quality recreation area." Frontier Stone makes no effort to show it cares the least about people, biological entities with feelings, who think and perceive things differently than "it" does. And if it can't empathize with people, what chance does it have of feeling Nature's pain? Hear them laughing?

1.    Regarding its location: "South of the site is a National Grid power line and south of the power line is the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge." [Vol. 1, p. 3]. Power line runs North-South, not east-west, and between the proposed mine and INWR lies the Iroquois Job Corps. Evidently the study's authors chose to omit this fact, in this particular place in the study, for some reason. This is at least the fifth time they've submitted a DEIS since 2006, each time it's been rejected for reasons that include sloppiness and laziness.


1)  The statement begins by understating INWR's ecological function within the Great Lakes bioregion, referring to it as merely "a significant natural resource," as opposed to an essential regional ecosystem [p. 32]. Furthermore, it claims "The Refuge is approximately 25 miles west of Lake Erie [which would put it in Canada]" VERY SLOPPY. The study also incorrectly states the direction of Route 63, which runs north-south, by stating the road "bisects" the swamps east to west. It also describes Route 63 as "functionally classified as a minor arterial" on p. 32, downplaying how busy it is, after having up-played its traffic to say how little the 10 trucks an hour from the quarry will affect Route 63's wear and tear, omitting Sour Springs and Oak Orchard Ridge roads, which are on the Refuge.


3)    Dec. 2011, same thing all over again, dEIS and mine land use plan deemed insufficient by DEC. Comments to Hellert begin with critique of statement's sloppiness.

4)    INWR'S RESPONSE TO THE DEIS IN 2011: "Page 66. We were unable to find a Holt and Leasure (2008) reference in the Birds of North America (BNA). However, the Short-eared Owl section of the BNA…is available online and it appears that this is the reference that the applicant used. The applicant suggests that based on BNA No. 62 'short-eared owls are also known to frequent mines and quarries.' In fact, BNA 62 states that short-eared owls 'may use' gravel pits and rock quarries. This information is cited from an earlier paper written by R.J. Clark (1975) in which he lists 'abandoned limestone quarry partially filled with stumps' and 'abandoned gravel pit' as places where he found short-eared owl winter assemblages. Both of these areas are far different than the active stone quarry being proposed and to suggest that this area will somehow be attractive to short-eared owls once quarrying operations commence is misleading."

5)    INWR's 2011 response: "Page 129. We find the applicant's statement that '…the quarry's impact beyond natural seasonal variations and storm events is insignificant' to be misleading. We feel that the continuous pumping of 251 gpm [1.44 million gallons per day] (or other volumes) of water into Refuge wetlands could be very significant. Natural seasonal variations in water levels will certainly be altered as will the ability of the wetlands to absorb storm events." AND AGAIN, NO MENTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

2.  Page 6, under "Construction and Operation," a berm ranging from 30-50 feet will surround the quarry and "will form a visual/noise berm." In other words, a rather large earthen wall will block the view of what was once a wide open space intended to remain that way. To get an idea what one looks like, drive around the LaFarge quarry on Hinman Road in Lockport. Ask those residents if the berms help much against the blasting.

3.  Pages 99-100, section… Even more questionable is the DEIS use of an "important study of the Lockport Formation… conducted in the Love Canal Area" prior to 1984, to suggest Frontier's proposed quarry will be right in line with such standards effecting groundwater. Basically, to Frontier, The Swamps=Love Canal for groundwater impact.

4.  Surface water is not considered in the statement's proposed mitigation measures. However, on p. 39, the DEIS states that the quarry's drainage ditches, which will be used in their current state, are considered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be regulated as wetlands until 2016. "Neither of those wetland areas would be affected during the first five years of mining," says the statement. So obviously, those south-flowing ditches have a pretty shaky future in the coming decade. "When mining advances to Phase 2 the jurisdictional status of the wetlands will be confirmed and any applicable Corps…permit requirements… will be obtained prior to disturbance." So, by 2016 the ditches will get re-designated and fall under a different set of jurisdictional regulations more advantageous for Frontier. On page 112, the DEIS states: "There is potential that some runoff may be associated with the overburden berms." THEY DON'T CONSIDER WHAT THIS MIGHT DO TO THE SWAMPS.

5.    The blasting conducted…will avoid detrimental impact to structures in the vicinity…blasting will be monitored to document compliance with any requirements that are set forth in the mining permit." Not a word said in this initial summary about the blasting's "potential" effect on wildlife. Evidently, the ecosystem's not as of much concern as the neighbor farmer's shed or well…On p. 22, Frontier plans to mitigate the negative effects of noise and blasting by building those big berms that work so well for LaFarge's neighbors on Hinman Road, and claim that "properly functioning mufflers" will be on all equipment. Furthermore, heavy machinery that's not in use will not be "allowed to idle unnecessarily" and will have sufficient "distance to receptors," which I assume to be human ears that might hear a tree fall in the woods. It will also be quiet during the winter [unless weather and market conditions deem otherwise], hibernating like just about everything else in these parts. And interestingly, Frontier claims "Mining activity is largely confined within the excavation depression." Think about what that means. And that just has to do with the machinery noise. Now for how Frontier says it will minimize the effects of blasting: federal guidelines will be followed, "use of blasting patterns to optimize the energy to break the rock," "limit the number of blasts by increasing the yield of each blast," "blasting during the middle of the day when ambient noise is the greatest and people are most likely to be at work," "shots will be monitored by seismographs to aid in corrective blast design if needed." In other words, we'll follow industry-lobbied guidelines and use our expertise to make bigger, more productive explosions only a couple times during the day when the swamps are so noisy anyway and the human population has left for work [and elsewhere].

6.  No ancillary processing facilities such as [and therefore not limited to] ready-mix or hot mix asphalt are planned at this time which would generate additional traffic." I think of the Peace Bridge on a hot August day, except I'm sitting at Mallard Overlook at Ringneck Marsh a mile south of the quarry on Sour Springs Road…eyes running, throat burning, wheezing…and all the poor animals choking under an orange sky. Another "ancillary project" could include natural gas extraction, which isn't part of this plan, but would likely include pipelines.

7.  Wildlife—"…There are no endangered or threatened wildlife species nesting on the site. Northern harriers were noted foraging over the site. Adverse impact to northern harriers is not anticipated as there is extensive open field and agricultural areas nearby for foraging. Short-eared owls are known to occupy a winter roost over one mile from the site. While there is potential for short eared owls use the site for roosting during the winter months or for breeding. Short eared owls are known to use quarries for foraging. No adverse impact to short-eared owls are anticipated." This statement walks a fine line between truth and prevarication. And remember that bogus claim earlier about short-eared owls using quarries? It's repeated here…and it's not true…they use abandoned quarries.

8.  Pages 58-60: Frontier also falsely states that "Proposed mining areas have been located so as to avoid or minimize disturbance to any potentially sensitive or significant habitat, such as wetlands." As the study's use of "as well as" suggests, siting has been determined to avoid human residences, not wildlife. So in this respect, among others, the DEIS is dishonest

9.    "With the exception of an increase in truck traffic [1 truck every 6 minutes and 15 seconds for 12 hours a day, 66 hours a week] on Oak Orchard Ridge Road [omits the hill on Sour Springs Road], the potential for disturbance to bird watchers is minimal." This is absurd…p. 15-16.

So the three general reasons Frontier Stone [the monkey] should not be allowed to develop a quarry [fingerpaint] in the Alabama Swamps [the art gallery] are: 1) The impact statement avoids a rational appeal that allays the heightened civic concerns over its plan; 2) Frontier Stone can't empathize with nature lovers; 3) Frontier Stone has shown itself to be uncaring and dishonest in all drafts of its environmental impact statement, and should not be trusted to run a quarry in such a sensitive place or to take the extra steps necessary to preserve INWR and state wildlife management areas.

In other words, this environmental impact statement is a sham. This type of deviousness and/or incompetence could be avoided in the future with three basic reforms to the state mining application process:

1. Instill a three-strikes rule, in which applicants only have three shots at attaining a permit for a site; after which the bid would be dropped. Loopholes regarding company name changes need to be applied.

2. Instill higher environmental standards and hurdles for quarry applicants who wish to mine near protected ecosystems, understanding the web-like nature of such systems.

3. Develop a standard format for environmental impact statements that must be followed to prevent companies like Frontier Stone from submitting shoddy applications as a form of doing business, hoping they'll outlast the people to whom they're applying. Environmental impact statements must be written in such a way the general reading public can follow without hassle. Basically, a truly professional statement must get an A in Comp 101 for a permit to be awarded near protected land or water. Why is that so hard for "professionals" to do?

I hope everyone who reads this open letter will seriously consider these reforms.

I'm also quite sure there's really no way you'll ever legitimately allow Frontier Stone to blast away in the swamps. You have the power to stop this thoughtless insanity now before it gets uglier, and I'm confident the DEC will do its job...though not certain.

Chuck Richardson
Lockport, NY

FURTHER READING 321-page report on Frontier Stone's proposal.

Fontier Stone's environmental impact study:


State Sen. George Maziarz, 175 Walnut St., Suite 6, Lockport, NY 14094. Phone: (716) 434-0680/Fax: (716) 434-3297.

Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, 8180 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14221. 716-839-4691.

Joe Martens, DEC Commissioner, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1011.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224. (518) 474-8390.

Rep. Chris Collins, 1117 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: 202-225-5265/Fax:     202-225-5910.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand,, 202-224-4451
Sen. Chuck Schumer, Buffalo Office, 130 South Elmwood Avenue
#660, Buffalo, NY 14202 . Phone: 716-846-4111/Fax: 716-846-4113