After 15 years of missed reviews, Truckee assessing Martis Valley Quarry
TRUCKEE, Calif. — For the first time in 15 years, the Martis Valley Quarry, operated by Teichert Aggregates, is up for its 5-year conditional use permit review.
While both Truckee town staff and Teichert Aggregates Resource Development Manager Michael Smith said they are unsure exactly what caused the delay, they agree it shouldn’t have happened.
“I don’t know why they haven’t been done,” said Truckee Community Development Director Jeff Loux. “We just couldn’t find any record of it.”
Loux’s been with the town since February, and said the purpose of the upcoming review is to make sure the company is monitoring things like air and water quality, and complying with the regulations set forth by previous planning commissions.
“The way this works in terms of the five-year review is we go through all the conditions of approval and see if they were satisfied.” He said. “One of the requirements is water quality and air quality permits.”
The town doesn’t handle air and water quality permits. Those are issued through the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, but the town does check with those entities to find out if a company has been complying.
Teichert Aggregates has been operating the Martis Valley Quarry — located at 13879 Joerger Drive in Truckee — under a conditional use permit issued in 1983, which was before Truckee became a town.
Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said in an email that when the town did incorporate in 1993, it was required to honor all previous land-use approvals that were put in place by Nevada County.
So even though the site of the quarry is not zoned for industrial use, mining in this area is still permitted.
Lashbrook also said the state of California requires that cities and counties protect mineralized areas in an attempt to keep them available for resource extraction purposes as a statewide interest. He said that the town’s 2006 and 1996 general plans both recognized the Teichert mine area as “an important mineral resource area.”
Smith, from Teichert, said the upcoming review includes no plans for expansion, something town staff confirmed when asked this week.
“Absolutely no changes will occur with the plant,” Smith said. “It’s a periodic review that the conditions of our permit require us to go through … There will be no enhancement, no changes to the operation.”
He said a number of the operations at the plant are covered under Teichert’s permit as ancillary uses, but the company is interested in clarifying its asphalt recycling operation in the upcoming permit review.
Smith said that Teichert has been recycling asphalt at the Martis Valley Quarry for about 10 years.
“In all of our operating years, we’ve never been cited for air and noise. Our noise monitoring has been well below the threshold allowed,” he added.
The Truckee Planning Commission’s review of the conditional use permit, which began on Feb. 21, was scheduled to continue on March 21.
However, because of the amount of information town staff has requested from the quarry operators, the next planning commission hearing date has been tentatively extended to April 18, according to press release from the town.
Loux said it’s likely the meeting could be pushed back into May.
In the meantime, Smith said Teichert is collecting data on its operations and hoping to meet with nearby residents to address potential concerns.
Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.
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