Parley's Canyon Mine Updates
UPDATE - August 3, 2023
A Message from Mayor Silvestrini:
"Millcreek continues to oppose the proposed Parleys Canyon gravel mine. The latest effort was an opposition to issuance of an air quality permit the city filed on July 27. This report was supported by an analysis from an expert, Dr. Ron Sahu, commissioned by the city and other donors. The report supports the conclusion that the preliminary intent of the Utah Division of Air Quality to issue a permit is misguided and unsupported by relevant air quality data. Oppositions to the permit were also filed by other entities and individuals, including Salt Lake County Mayor, Jenny Wilson, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Save Our Canyons, among others. It has been reported that DAQ received some 1400 comments in opposition to issuing an air quality permit for the mine. Millcreek's letter of opposition can be found below.
The opposition is technical, as it must be to gain traction with an agency which operate upon the analysis of technical air quality considerations. The city is committed to protecting the health and property of Millcreek residents, particularly those living in the Canyon Rim neighborhood, by doing everything legally possible to prevent the permitting of this potentially horrific mining operation."
February 22, 2023
H.B. 527 has been introduced which would permit the Tree Farm gravel mine in Parleys Canyon.
1. Expands Mining Rights;
2. Removes Mine Operators requirement to be subject to county zoning;
3. Leaves the public out of the process of ever being heard.
Here is a link to the Utah legislative web page where you can track the bill - HB0527 (utah.gov).
You can find your Legislator here - Utah State Legislature. Please let your legislator know how you feel about this bill. Ask your friends to contact their legislators as well, particularly those who may live in Utah County.
July 13, 2022
The DOGM Board held an informal hearing this morning and heard arguments from the groups who had filed objections to the new Small Mine Application, including the objection from Millcreek. You can read the objections and find additional information at https://ogm.utah.gov/minerals/MineralsPDO/angularmineralsfilesbypermit.php?S0350055.
The Director of the DOGM board commented on the large amount of public involvement that they have received related to this application. The board will accept public comment through close of business on Monday, July 18th. Comments can be emailed to DOGM at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the board rendering a decision.
July 12, 2022
The Division of Oil, Gas and Mining will be holding a meeting tomorrow, 7/13/2022, at 9 am, at their offices at 1594 W North Temple to consider the Small Mine Notice filed on June 15th. The hearing will consider the objections from five objectors, Salt Lake City, Save Our Canyons, the Richards Family Partnership, Millcreek, the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
Here is the official statement from the DOGM website with information on how to listen to the meeting if you cannot attend as well as where you can read the details, comments and official objections:
Proposed Parley’s Canyon Mine Statement
On June 15, 2022, the Large Mine NOI previously submitted by Tree Farm to the Division of Oil, Gas, & Mining was officially withdrawn. That same day, Granite Construction filed a new Small Mine Notice of Intention to Mine (SMO NOI) for the I-80 South Quarry, (also known as Tree Farm).
Five (5) objections to the I-80 South Quarry Small Mine NOI were timely and legally filed with the Division. Per Utah Code 63G-4-203(1)(b) and Utah Admin. Code R647-5-106(4), the Division will hold a hearing on July 13, 2022 at 9:00 am to consider the objections. At the hearing, the presiding officer will hear oral argument from the five (5) Objectors on the issue of whether Granite Construction has met the requirements of the Utah Mined Land Reclamation Act for an SMO NOI. After the hearing, the presiding officer shall have ten days to issue an order.
Details of the SMO NOI and bond calculation can be found at: https://fs.ogm.utah.gov/FILES/MINERALS/PERMITS/035/S0350055/2022/Incoming/06152022.pdf
All information regarding the SMO NOI, including comments and official objections can be found at: https://ogm.utah.gov/minerals/MineralsPDO/angularmineralsfilesbypermit.php?S0350055
The hearing will be streamed live at https://youtu.be/AvVbncKaiOA
June 28, 2022
On June 15th, 2022, Granite Construction filed a Small Mine Application to begin operations on the property owned by Tree Farm, LLC in Parley’s Canyon, renaming the operation the I-80 South Quarry.
On June 27th, Millcreek filed an Objection to Granite’s Small Mine NOI. The City Council has also agreed to join as an Intervenor in an anticipated lawsuit against Salt Lake County for the ordinance change enacted earlier this year. At this time, the county has not been served with that action.
May 25, 2022
Read the Combined Order Granting Stipulation and Denying Motion for Policy Guidance that was issued by the Board of the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining on May 23, 2022.
At the Millcreek City Council meeting on May 23, Mayor Silvestrini reported on this Order to the City Council, stating that:
“The Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining (DOGM) issued a decision on the Tree Farm matter that basically says they will not consider even a small mine operation in Parleys Canyon unless certain items were addressed.
As background, Tree Farm had filed for both a small mine and a large mine application in Parleys Canyon and DOGM denied the small mine application. Millcreek, Salt Lake City and some other organizations intervened in that proceeding to oppose the mine in Parleys Canyon because of the impacts of that operation on Millcreek residents, particularly those residents of Canyon Rim who have experienced the impacts of the dust from the existing mine for decades, but also every resident of the Salt Lake Valley. Other impacts would include those on wildlife, watershed as well as air quality.
The decision of the board basically chastises both Tree Farm and the division staff for trying to dismiss the application on the grounds of mootness and the board reminded those parties that the determination was up to the board, not up to division staff.
The DOGM Board congratulated Millcreek and others for the briefs that we filed. Millcreek had filed a brief at the direction of the board to try to clarify some of the statues that apply to the applications at issue and also to clarify the role of the board to decide and rule on a small mine application and whether it could consider other impacts aside from a bond, such as health, safety, effects of dust and on watershed and other impacts.
The board determined that it did have that authority under state statute and was complementary of Millcreek for filing our brief which it cited in the decision.
As a result of that decision, it is apparent that the DOGM board is not going to consider or grant even a small mine application in Parleys Canyon unless or until the applicant can demonstrate that it has licenses/permits from the Division of Air Quality, the Division of Water Quality and Division of Forestry to ensure that all of the impacts of this mine would be addressed, particularly since this is on the urban interface. The board pointed out that this is not a mining operation out in the middle of nowhere but is proposed on the doorstep of an urban county that would affect almost a million and a half people.
That is a good decision for us; it gives us some more assurance that a small mine application would not be approved without addressing those impacts.
The other thing I would advise the Millcreek City Council is that Tree Farm filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake County complaining about the zoning change that the county implemented. I believe our city, because we are so impacted by this mine, has an interest in defending the county’s decision on that land use application and I am going to ask the council at our next meeting to consider a resolution authorizing our city attorney to intervene in that legal proceeding to protect the interests of Millcreek residents and oppose the Tree Farm lawsuit.”
April 6, 2022
At their meeting on April 6, the Salt Lake County Council, after a public hearing, voted unanimously to adopt an amendment to Salt Lake County Ordinance Section 19.12.030 “to eliminate mineral extraction and processing as a conditional use and explicitly prohibiting the same in the Forestry and Recreation Zones; amending Section 19.72.190 to eliminate mineral extraction and processing as a use for which waivers can be granted; amending Section 19.760.030 regarding classification of permitted and conditional uses not listed in Title 19; and enacting related regulations”.
We appreciate this action by the County Council and the actions of the many residents who emailed, called or attended the meeting to show their support of this ordinance amendment.
April 5, 2022
The Salt Lake County Council agendas for Tuesday, April 5th have been posted. There is an agenda item on both the Council Work Session Agenda and the Council Agenda related to an Ordinance Amendment of Section 19.12.030 of the Salt Lake County Code Related to Mineral Extraction and Processing in the Forestry and Recreation Zone.
The Work Session begins at 1:30pm and this item is shown as agenda item 3.10.
The Council Meeting begins at 4:00pm. The public hearing on the ordinance change is item 5.1 followed by item 6.1, Council discussion. It is noted that formal adoption may occur at the 4/12/2022 Council Meeting.
There is information on each agenda on how to access the meetings electronically as well as instructions for those wishing to comment electronically. Comments may also be emailed by 10am on the day of the meeting.
You can read the Order Denying Requests For Issuance Of An Emergency Order that was filed on April 1st by the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
March 23, 2022
At the Division of Oil, Gas & Mining meeting on March 23, the Board voted to accept the withdrawal of the Small Mining (SMO) and Large Mining (LMO) applications by Tree Farm. The Tree Farm attorneys indicated that they will be filing a new NOI for a Small Mining Application immediately.
We believe that the Salt Lake County Council will be considering the county ordinance change that would preclude mineral extraction and processing as a conditional use in the Forestry and Recreation Zones at their meeting on April 5th. The agenda for that meeting has not yet been posted. We will forward it when it is available.
February 22, 2022
The Board of Oil, Gas and Mining will hold a public meeting Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 9:00 AM. The meeting will be conducted virtually. The meeting will be live streamed on the Department of Natural Resources YouTube channel.
The agenda for the meeting can be found here.
You can also view a letter sent by Mayor Silvestrini, Mayor Mendenhall, and Salt Lake City Council Chair Dan Dugan to the Salt Lake County Council on February 15, 2022 asking the Council to remove mining in the FCOZ through the proposed amendment.
February 3, 2022
The Mountainous Planning District Planning Commission held a virtual public meeting on February 3, 2022 to consider the following ordinance amendment:
“AN ORDINANCE OF THE SALT LAKE COUNTY COUNCIL AMENDING SECTION 19.12.030 OF THE SALT LAKE COUNTY CODE TO ELIMINATE MINERAL EXTRACTION AND PROCESSING AS A CONDITIONAL USE AND EXPLICITLY PROHIBITING THE SAME AND OTHER RELATED USES IN THE FORESTRY AND RECREATION ZONES; AMENDING SECTION 19.72.190 TO ELIMINATE MINERAL EXTRACTION AND PROCESSING AS A USE FOR WHICH WAIVERS CAN BE GRANTED; AMENDING SECTION 19.76.030 REGARDING CLASSIFICATION OF PERMITTED AND CONDITIONAL USES NOT LISTED INITLE 19; AND ENACTING RELATED REGULATIONS”
View the proposed ordinance amendment here - 802871.pdf (utah.gov)
January 11, 2022
January 10, 2022 was the date for filing of petitions to intervene in the small mine application proceeding. Millcreek’s filing, as well as what the Division of Oil Gas and Mining (DOGM) filed to support the denial of the small mine application, are below. The next proceeding before the board of DOGM is on January 26.
Millcreek Petition to Intervene (PDF) - January 10, 2022
PUBLIC MEETING, DECEMBER 21, 2021
You can view a recording of the public meeting held at Millcreek City Hall on Tuesday, December 21st on our Meeting Live Stream page.
Two significant developments have occurred which affect the application to create a second open pit limestone quarry in Parleys Canyon.
First, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining denied the small mine application for the quarry, (you can read the denial letter HERE Version OptionsParley's Canyon Mine UpdatesHeadline) but indicated it will still process the large mine application filed concurrently by the applicant. There will be more opportunity for public input in the large mine application process and we will keep you posed as we learn more about that process and the timing.
Second, the Salt Lake County Council met December 10, 2021 in a special meeting to enact a Notice of Pending Ordinance, which functions as a moratorium on issuance of any Conditional Use Permit for a new mine until the County’s process for considering changing the zoning ordinance to eliminate new mines as a conditional use in the unincorporated county (read Salt Lake County's resolution HERE Version OptionsParley's Canyon Mine UpdatesHeadline). This should also buy more time before this operation could be authorized. Please continue to check this page for the most current information.
Read Mayor Silvestrini's previous message regarding the proposed limestone quarry in our December 3, 2021 electronic newsletter.