Coastal Conservation League working with Williamsburg community in effort to stop quarry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Coastal Conservation League is working with a Williamsburg community to try and block a proposed limestone quarry.

The Earles community said Clark Wooten, a sod farmer, purchased nearly a thousand acres of land near Highway 521 and Wheeler Road near Andrews with the intent to build a sod farm, and later changed his plans to put in a quarry.

The consultant for the proposed quarry has permit applications put in for the quarry, but for some of the people who live in the community they said they were worried about what would happen if a quarry went in.

"I'm 75 years old and I live in an old house and they're telling us how the walls will crack, the foundation will crack, the water levels going to be messed up again," said Earles community resident Roberta Cox said. "At my age, I don't feel like I can pull up and go relocate."

Project consultant Craig Kennedy said they are waiting to get through the process and have submitted their applications.

Kennedy also said they have done a lot to communicate with the public on what their plans are, and said if it meets the permit requirements by state law their application for the quarry should be approved.

"I think if we can figure out if there are damaging long term impacts to the environment that will probably be the way we can stop the quarry," said Erin Pate, the director of the North Coast Office of the Coastal Conservation League. "Our lawyer is helping us evaluate the application and look for information that might help us fight the case. We are not planning a lawsuit at this time.  We would never take it completely off the table but that is not in our immediate plan."

DHEC will be meeting with the community about the proposed site on Nov. 30.

"We're just all working hard to get it stopped because we want to do all we can in our power to keep it from coming," Cox said.

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