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Small town is against big quarry near Penobscot River

January 19, 2022 GMT

HEAGAN MOUNTAIN, Maine (AP) — A dispute is heating up between residents of a small town on the Penobscot River and a Virginia-based mining company that wants to quarry granite there, after the company applied for two key permits last month.

Salmons, Inc. has already purchased most of Heagan Mountain in Prospect, a town of 600. Many who live there are bitterly opposed to the $12 million dollar mining project, which is now asking the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for permits to build a mineral processing facility and an associated pier on Bowden Point, The Bangor Daily News reported Tuesday.

“No one’s going to want to live here if they blow up our mountain,” said Brandy Bridges. Her family has lived near the peak for over 100 years.

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Salmons Inc. estimates the quarry and associated operations will provide 35 to 40 new jobs. The plan is to crush the quarried granite on-site, then haul the processed rock to Virginia on barges.

“You’re talking about a lot of blasting, blasting and dust, a lot of dust,” said John Hyk, who owns a portion of Heagan Mountain.

Salmons, Inc. said the operation will follow “environmental regulations and best practices as well as prove a safe working environment for our employees.”

Town residents have a 20-day window to request a hearing once the DEP determines the mining company’s permit applications are complete.