5040 Mallard View Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46276
Geoffrey C. Harris Vice President Martin Marietta Materials and President of MidAmerica Division
4470 Duke, Suite 200
Mason OH 45040
10 July 2002
American Aggregates, a wholly owned subsidiary of Martin Marietta, faces severe public hostility in Spring Valley, OH, where it recently won the right to build a 200-acre gravel pit. Strong public opposition to the site was evident during the five months of hearings by the Spring Valley Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) in early 2000. Over 300 opponents of the site attended each meeting, and testimony presented to the board by local citizens increased their concern. During the hearings, the following concerns were presented to the Board:
This testimony heightened the concerns of the community for their health and economic welfare. When the BZA approved the site by one vote, many in the community were outraged and felt the BZA had acted improperly.
The community is also aware that on 29 November 2000, Ohio EPA released a report of a settlement with Martin Marietta for violations of pollution laws at their plant in Highland County -- violations going back to 1995 (http://www.epa.state.oh.us/pic/nr/2000/november/mmmhigh.html).
A community group, Concerned Citizens of Spring Valley, appealed the decision and raised over $40,000 for the appeal. This group plans to operate a watchdog web site to monitor any complaints - or publish and favorable news - relating to Martin Marietta operations in the township.
More recently, it has come to light that reclamation of the Roxanna north site has not occurred, despite the statement by Mr. Alan Rosichan during the BZA hearings that American Aggregates would "be either completely done with the restoration or very close to it" (transcript 27 April 2000, p. 114 l. 20 - p. 115, l. 2). The township zoning board and many citizens are aware that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has returned a large amount of the bond posted for reclamation of that site, and the public is very concerned that nothing has been done.
Martin Marietta could take steps to mend its tarnished reputation in the area. Positive actions on behalf of the community, publicized on the Concerned Citizens web site, would help ease the fears of the residents. Such actions could include:
If you would like to discuss these or other opportunities to mend public relations in Spring Valley, please feel free to contact Dr. Daniel Fouke, President of Concerned Citizens of Spring Valley, 2429 Schnebly Road, Spring Valley, OH 45370.
CC: Stephanie McKee (Mayor of Spring Valley), John DeWine, Jerry Bowine, & Wendell Johnson (Township Trustees), Spring Valley Township Zoning Commission,Carol Henley (Township Zoning Inspector), Suzanne Schmidt (Assistant County Prosecutor).