Westerly

Environment
10:57 am
Wed November 12, 2014

EPA: Agency Has Done A Good Job Of Taking Action on Westerly Quarry

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Westerly's Copar Quarries, now named Armetta, LLC., paid a hefty $80,000 for violating federal clean air standards. The agency also reports the quarry operation is now meeting clean air rules. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has the EPA’s response to affected neighbors who disagree with the agency's assessment.

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Environment
7:50 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Residents Suing Westerly Quarry Request New Investigation

Neighbors of Armetta, LLC, a quarry formerly known as Copar Quarries, say this aerial photo taken from a private plane depicts a plume of stone dust coming from the quarry shortly after a blast.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Dubois

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Copar Quarries in Westerly has paid $80,000 in penalties for violating federal clean air standards. According to EPA officials, the quarry is now in compliance. Not so, say neighbors who live near the quarry. Their lawyer is calling for a new investigation into dust and other concerns associated with the operation.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Westerly Homeowners' Complaints Against Neighboring Quarry Protected

Neighbors of a quarry in Westerly say the quarry was never quarried in its past as intensely as the current operators are quarrying it today.
Google Earth Images

A Superior Court judge recently ruled homeowners in Westerly seeking remedy for alleged nuisance from a neighboring quarry operation have the right to do so.

When two families filed a lawsuit against the quarry owner, Westerly Granite Inc., the quarry operators, Armetta LLC, formerly known as Copar Quarries, LLC, and the subconstractor Maine Drilling and Blasting, Westerly Granite responded with a counter complaint.

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Environment
8:12 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Westerly Quarry Still A Quandary For Neighboring Residents

A bird's eye view of the Westerly Quarry in April 2010 from Google Earth.
Google Earth Images

On the surface, this story is about sand and gravel. And it’s not, actually. It's a story about how stone becomes sand and gravel. And about the people who built homes around what used to be a dormant quarry in Westerly. It’s the first installment of a two-part series.

Charlestown resident Denise Rhodes lives about 1,000 feet away from this quarry, just across the border in Westerly. She invited local town council members and Rhode Island Public Radio to her house on a day when the town issued a “Code Red alert.” 

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Environment
9:01 am
Fri May 30, 2014

More Federal Funding Coming To RI To Clean Up Contaminated Sites

The new WaterFire headquarters in Providence are being cleaned up using federal funds designated to clean up Brownfield and superfund sites.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island has received more than $2.7 million to clean up contaminated properties in Pawtucket, Providence, and Westerly.

Senator Jack Reed says these federal grants awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program will help local governments protect public health and redevelop former industrial sites for better use. Reed says it’ll also benefit the economy by creating jobs and increasing the value of surrounding properties.

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Environment
4:06 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

More Than $1 Million To Help Dredge Winnepaug Pond

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. Superstorm Sandy dumped about 60,000 to 70,000 cubic yards of sand, making it more shallow and warm.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. 

Winnepaug Pond, behind Misquamicut Beach, has built up a lot of sediment over the course of 50 years or more, said Amy Grzybowski, Westerly’s director of planning, code enforcement, and grant administration. She said the town has wanted to dredge the pond for more than 10 years. 

Then, Superstorm Sandy dumped more sand, making it more shallow and warm.

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Weather
8:36 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Flood Warning Remains In Effect For Rhode Island

A rain swollen Pawcatuck River in Westerly RI.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Flood warnings remain in effect for Rhode Island rivers, but forecasters for with the National Weather Service says people shouldn't fear a repeat of the historic floods of March 2010; which were the worst in the state.  However residents in Westerly were still worried.

Gail Quatromanni lives in a sprawling ranch with spectacular view of the Pawcatuck River.  But it hasn't been looking very pretty in the last couple days.  In a 24 hour period starting Sunday morning, Quatromanni said the river rose 19 inches.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

RI Senate Unveils Plan To Close Skills Gap

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and senate leaders roll out legislation to close Rhode Island's skills gap.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Senate on Tuesday afternoon unveiled a new plan meant to close a skills gap in Rhode Island. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said the “Rhode to Work” plan is a response to business leaders’ complaints that they’re having trouble finding skilled workers.

The plan calls for creating a single workforce training system; improving adult education; and expanding the number of internships and apprenticeships in Rhode Island.

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RI News
5:18 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

RIDOT: $29M In Transportation Projects Seek Funding

The public has a chance to weigh in Friday on a slate of proposed transportation projects that will be paid for out of a new fund

The new fund helps cities and towns access low-interest loans for road construction projects. It’s modeled after the state’s Clean Water Finance Authority, which over the past 15 years has loaned out $1 billion for municipal sewage treatment projects. In fact, the Clean Water Finance Authority will administer this new transportation fund.

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RI News
9:20 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Westerly Zoning Board Takes Up Copar Quarry Expansion

Westerly’s Zoning Board is circling back to a cease and desist order against Copar and Westerly Granite. Tuesday's hearing picks up where the zoning board left off earlier this year.

Residents near Copar’s quary say it’s noisy and spews rock and dust into the air, causing health risks. Copar says the noise is no louder than a busy road.

Meanwhile, Copar and the Town of Westerly are locked in a lawsuit that the former town manager was hoping would be resolved in mediation.

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