Teichert permit review rescheduled
May 10, 2017
A group of residents and property owners are going to get a chance to voice long-standing concerns about Martis Valley Quarry in Truckee before a permit review.
Teichert Aggregates, operators of the quarry, will host a meeting for the group on Thursday, May 11, at the Best Western Plus Truckee Tahoe Hotel at 6 p.m.
"Teichert would like to implement some changes to their operations, which they believe will help minimize the odor and noise concerns," Truckee Assistant Planner Kirk Skierski said in an email.
"They believe the changes may take some time to become noticeable and delaying the hearing will allow the adjacent property owners to identify if the changes are working or not."
In March, the Sierra Sun reported that there has not been a formal review of Teichert's five-year permit since 2002. Both representatives from the company and town staff were unsure why the review hadn't been done.
The planning commission was scheduled to get back on track and review the permit in March, but the meeting was moved to May at the request of community members who wanted more time to notify other residents.
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The review has now been rescheduled to June at the request of Teichert representatives.
"Teichert has asked the Town to continue the hearing till June in order to set up a neighborhood meeting for residents and adjacent property owners to voice their concerns/issues and requests directly to Teichert," Skierski said in the email.
Town staff inspects the mine annually, and Teichert is required to provide the town with documents outlined in the conditions of approval, Skierski said. Those documents include things like permits that show they're complying with air quality requirements and quarterly noise monitoring reports.
But a group of residents in the nearby neighborhood of Glenshire say that whether or not Teichart is complying with the law, the quarry is negatively impacting their quality of life.
"Last night (May 7) at 10:20 p.m., I got home and it smelled of asphalt," said Marc Pado, Glenshire resident and organizer of a new group called Protect Air and Water Quality in Truckee.
Pado has lived above the mine in Glenshire since 1998. He said that when he and his wife were purchasing their home, they were told that the quarry's operators would be gone in five years.
"We were unaware it could go on forever," Pado said.
He said that the quarry wasn't always such a nuisance, at least not for him.
"They weren't getting a whole lot of opposition with the mining." he said. "It's really only been with the addition of the asphalt plant."
In addition to mining, Teichart also operates an asphalt plant and recycles asphalt at the Truckee operation. Residents have complained that since the addition of the asphalt plant, that there are people working in the quarry at all hours of the night, which disturbs them in their homes above.
"They start the backup beepers at 2:30 in the morning and it goes right into those peoples' windows, then there's other people like myself that are just in the line of the air for the fumes," Pado said.
He said the air is so bad that nearby residents can write their name on their furniture everyday.
"It is so pervasive and so bad, that with all the windows and doors closed, it smells like asphalt in the house … the dust is a whole other thing because when you crush asphalt, it creates silica dust."
Pado said his wife, a physician, suffers from migraines. They don't know the cause, but suspect that the dust and fumes from the asphalt plant have something to do with the diagnosis.
"They know silica dust causes cancer, but they don't know how much of it you need to breath to get cancer," Pado said.
"The people who work with it are required to wear masks, but what does that mean for us? Some of us that live nearby have been breathing it for years."
Pado said some of the neighbors want Teichart gone altogether, while others have more specific complaints. He said he personally would just like to see the operation relocated to an area outside of town limits, away from homes.
"I understand they're probably not violating any laws or above any restricted limits for what they can put in the air … our point is it's a toxin you're putting in the air and you don't know if it causes nausea, headaches, or causes kids to have asthma," Pado said.
"We don't want to be the guinea pig for how much toxins we can handle."
Glenshire resident Dave Guiragossian said this isn't the first time that residents have spoken out against Teichart.
He said there was a petition circulating over a decade ago to try and get the town to make the company move, but it disappeared.
"That petition had about 500 signatures on it, and one day it just disappeared," Guiragossian said.
Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.