The Town of Westerly and Copar Quarries head into mediation Wednesday to see if they can settle a dispute that will please both the quarry and residents.
Neighbors have complained about it for years. They say it’s noisy and spews rock dust into the air causing health risks. The state has been monitoring air quality and has never sited Copar with any dust violations. Westerly Town Manager Steven Hartford is pulling for a resolution that includes cutting the quarry’s operations and mandatory air quality monitoring. But he’s skeptical they’ll find a way to please both Copar and residents.
“I think it’s a stretch that we would reach any agreement. I think we’re at a point now, sort of a breaking point, where the neighbors aren’t even willing to talk about any kind of a resolution that would allow Copar to remain there," said Hartford.
Hartford said if progress is made today, there will be another mediation session in August. He says the town has spent more than $30,000 so far on the issue. And he expects that number to climb if it drags on in the courts.
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