Summary of August 20, 2020 Public Meeting on Hamm, Inc.’s application to transfer mining permit number 0388 from Barber and Sons Company to Hamm, Inc.
A public meeting was held at Lone Summit Ranch in Lee’s Summit, Missouri beginning at 6:00 p.m. on August 20, 2020 to discuss Hamm, Inc.’s application to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to transfer Barber and Sons Company’s (Barber) mining permit to Hamm, Inc. (Hamm).
In attendance were representatives of DNR, including Larry Lehman; representatives from Hamm, including Jacob Scherer, General Manager of Aggregates Kansas City; Hamm’s attorney, Bill Ford, Partner, Lathrop Gage; Jim Grice and Sarah Holdmeyer from Bryan Cave representing certain members of Lake Lotawana Association who are residents of the City of Lake Lotawana (City); and approximately 100 residents of the City or of the area surrounding the Quarry. Approximately 30 people responded to the association that they would not come due to the Covid 19.
The presentation began with Mr. Lehman, DNR, explaining that the meeting was called in regards to Hamm’s application to transfer a mining permit from Barber to Hamm. Per state statute, after filing the application to transfer, Hamm provided notice to individuals whose property was within a one-half mile radius surrounding the Quarry. State statute requires a public meeting if any notified resident requests such a meeting in response to notification of the application to transfer. Several individuals exercised his or her right to request the public meeting.
Mr. Lehman, with the DNR, provided to the attendees the following materials: Information Sheet providing a summary of the application to transfer permit; a map of the Quarry; a list containing contact information of additional agencies that regulate the Quarry; and a copy of the Mine Plan and Form Instructions that was submitted by Hamm, Inc. and received by the Land Reclamation Program on June 3, 2020. Mr. Lehman explained that Hamm’s application to transfer applies only to the state permit and does not override local planning or zoning ordinances/requirements. He further explained the environmental jurisdiction of the DNR covers only the mining, air, and water aspects of the Quarry. All other aspects are governed by various entities, including those contained on the Information Sheet. Mr. Lehman further explained that after completion of the August 20 public meeting, the Land Reclamation commission has six weeks to determine whether Hamm’s application to transfer will be approved or denied. Once a decision is made, everyone in attendance at the meeting who provided their contact information will receive from the DNR a summary of the meeting and will be notified of the commission’s decision.
Following Mr. Lehman’s remarks, Jacob Scherer, Hamm General Manager of Aggregates, presented a PowerPoint presentation. A few highlights of his presentation comments are set out below.
- Hamm has purchased the “assets” of the Quarry from Barber, but has not purchased the land.
- A permit for the Lotawana Quarry (as it is referred to by Hamm, Inc.) with the City was transferred from Barber to Hamm in January 2020. The City permit expires in 2029.
- Hamm began mining the Quarry shortly after the City permit was transferred.
- Scherer also explained the operations at the Quarry, the frequency of anticipated blasting (generally once weekly) and the actions taken by Hamm to ensure it complies with state and City regulations and ordinances.
- One interesting point shared by Mr. Scherer, Hamm’s GM of Aggregates KC, relates to fact that Hamm believes it will take 30 years to mine the 1300 area zoned for mining by the City. This fact seems to imply that an extension beyond 2029 is part of Hamm’s plan.
After Hamm’s presentation, numerous questions were posed by residents concerning the Quarry, including the resumption of blasting, issues with water runoff from the Quarry, the relocation of the entrance to the Quarry on 7 Highway, reclamation of the mine, the area Hamm intends to mine, the extent of time Hamm intends to mine, and Hamm’s intent to comply with the 2004 Settlement Agreement between Barber and Sons and the City.
While Mr. Scherer made it clear that Hamm was aware of the 2004 Settlement Agreement and the restrictions agreed to by Barber affecting his mining rights at the quarry, his remarks and lack of response to certain questions indicate the following:
- Hamm will likely seek approval from the City to extend the period of time mining is allowed at the Quarry under the Settlement Agreement from 2029, and
- Hamm will likely seek approval from the City to enlarge the mining area to include areas North of Langsford Road and east of Highway 7 at some future date.
Following this questioning, our attorney, Jim Grice, presented a PowerPoint presentation on behalf of certain members of Lake Lotawana Association who retained Bryan Cave to represent their interests in regards to the Quarry. The presentation highlighted the requirements set forth in the 2004 Settlement Agreement and the inconsistency with those provisions and the state mine permit – including the area of acres to be mined and the date the permit expires. Mr. Grice urged the DNR to allow our attorneys and the City residents additional time to collect relevant documentation to further assess the permit application.
Among other items covered in his presentation, Mr. Grice requested that the Land Rec Commission of the Missouri DNR should require that the Hamm transfer application be refiled with an updated mining plan that clearly recognizes the Settlement Agreement limitations, including the limitation in geographic scope and the cessation of operations by 2029.