The small group of Golden residents hoping to spotlight Denver Brick Company’s plans to expand its existing state land trust lease by nearly tenfold has garnered a breather.
A Jan. 31 decision to approve the Fort Worth-based corporation’s request to convert its existing 110 Limited Impact mine permit to a 112 Reclamation permit has been delayed until March 31 by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety
This is the second time DRMS has postponed the decision.
Mike Rawluk, Golden resident and Protect the Hogback board member, said the grassroots organization is encouraged with the delay and hopeful the new date is an indication their request for a hearing may be granted.
Protect the Hogback is a nonprofit organization created by Golden residents and businesses to oppose DBC’s expansion of the hogback clay mine immediately north of the city.
After a story on the mine ran in the Jan. 5 Golden Transcript, Rawluk said DBC reopened its public comment period through Jan. 19.
A Jan. 20 email from PTH states ”hundreds of objections” were
submitted to DRMS and ”there is substantial community opposition” to the expanded mining project.
As the group awaits a decision, Rawluk says PTH has additional questions regarding the proposed project’s impact on the Denver Aquifer, which runs near the mine, and appears to rise within 300 to 500 feet of the surface.
Along with dipping bedrock in the area, an unknown extent of underground mining tunnels from historical operations, and a well as a well-documented fault, there is cause to raise concern about water.
PTH has created a library on its website that includes geological charts and other information for consideration by the community.
Again, Rawluk cautions although the decision date has been moved, the project is still in the hands of the state. Should the DRMS approve the permit, the matter proceeds to the county’s purview.
Approval by the state could increase increase the Golden Mine operational footprint from nine to 85.5 acres and authorize an increase in the amount of clay the company may extract from the mine.
The mine sits approximately .6 miles north of the city on the west side of Highway 93.
Although Rawluk says the delay is good news, for now, PTH still needs financial support to cover ongoing legal costs.
Donations of any size are welcome and may be made online through a payment portal on their website.
Cash and check donations may be sent directly to Protect the Hogback at P.O. 821, Golden, CO 80402.