Shell mining firm seeks Tate’s Hell land

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 02:27 PM.

 “I don’t know even if they’ll give us the extended property,” Mitchem said. “The first part of the process is a few letters and then we could request 5,000 or 10,000 acres.”

Sanders said that if the current strip mine were extended it would be adjacent to privately owned land including her home. “Every time they dynamite up there, it puts tannic acid in my water,” Sanders said.

Count Planner Alan Pierce said the land Gulf Aggregates wants to use is part of Tate’s Hell State Forest.

“It was purchased for environmental preservation,” he said. “You would have to put it back the way it was as a wetland and not a lake.”

He said state requirements for restoration of wetlands after use are so stringent he didn’t believe Gulf Aggregates could repair the land after it was mined.

Mitchem said she envisioned a lake with walking paths around it. “If we can’t get the expansion, then the job opportunity for Franklin County won’t be there,” she said.

 “You are talking about taking wild lands and turning it into a manicured park-like area and I can just tell you there’s no way,” Pierce said.

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