When people think of rock quarries, usually the first images that come to mind are nuisances…maybe they feel a blast, see some dust from the blast, they question the deep pits or the stockpiles of rock.
It is important to remember that quarries are necessary to our way of life. Even though mining may not be exciting or attractive to some people, our world would not be the same without quarries and mining. If you have not checked out “If it’s Not Grown, It’s Mined” in our FAQS section, it will give you a good understanding at how important mining and quarries are to provide the products you require everyday.
The fact is that Conco Quarries is not JUST a quarry, but we provide vital services to our community. Conco works hard to promote a positive, sustainable Environment in our community.
CONCO’S ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION STATEMENT:
Conco Companies is committed to Sustainability and Pollution Prevention. Conco agrees with National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) position on Sustainability which
identifies Sustainability as a business approach that integrates environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic prosperity to ensure the long-term supply of aggregate materials to society. NSSGA recognizes that sustainable practices are necessary today to preserve the potential for a quality life for future generations.”
Overarching Sustainability Practices
- NSSGA members sustain the communities in which we operate by providing raw materials as natural building blocks for quality of life.
- We are conscious of the need to provide economic, social and environmental value for future generations, and the communities in which we operate.
- We demonstrate a strong and unwavering commitment to safety, health and the environment at our operations.
- We work with appropriate government bodies to establish effective, responsible and balanced laws and other requirements based on sound science.
- We encourage life cycle re-use of products during manufacturing and post-consumer use.
- We maintain adequate aggregate resources in locations that minimize the life cycle impacts of the resource’s extraction, delivery and use.
- We encourage proper land use development and planning within communities to ensure long-term aggregate resource availability.
- We adhere to the highest ethical business practices and transparency in all aspects of our operations.
- We recognize that profitability is essential to a sustainable industry and its continued ability to contribute to communities.
Conco is actively focused on preventing pollution and we consider that an important part of Sustainability. We focus on not creating pollution in the first place, recycling when possible, and doing all we can do to improving the environment along the way. This is also the basis of Sustainability for into the future. What are some ways that Conco works to prevent pollution?
- Conco has Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans at all our locations, even the locations that are not required. These plans include measures to ensure that any potential spills will be caught and removed before getting into the environment. All sites also have monthly inspections of containers that could present a spill to ensure the containers are not leaking.
- In accordance with our SPCC plans, all storage tanks are above ground. Conco has no Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s) that could potentially leak.
- All RM and Quarry plants are continually being analyzed to find new ways to increase efficiency and use less energy. Some examples include:
- Both Quarries have had used oil furnaces in their shops for several years. Willard added another used oil furnace to their warehouse in 2007. All winter heat for these locations is produced using only the recycled used oil generated at these locations.
- In 2006, the Quarry in Willard updated equipment and added controls to minimize amperage usage. The Primary and one secondary crusher were replaced with a new, much more energy-efficient model.
- In 2008, all RM plants replaced using fossil fuel with electric on the cement blowers, significantly reducing fuel consumption to blow cement into silos.
- All Conco shops have committed to using non-hazardous solvents that can protect the environment.
- All Conco shops are committed to buying the largest practical container of ingredients, and then recycling these containers when empty. This greatly reduces the amount of potential trash.
- Water sprays on plants and on haul roads are used where needed at each site to reduce the potential of dust. At the quarries all haul road watering is done with stormwater that has been saved.
- The quarry mechanics have been trained and certified to recycle all anti-freeze for all rolling stock so no anti-freeze is discharged into the public treatment plants.
- Any used oil that is not recycled within our own shops is sent to recycling plants.
- All Conco plants have backflow preventers to prevent contamination of our business supply water with any other public or private wells. Inspections are conducted as required.
- At all Conco plants there is a policy to recycle all lead-acid batteries. All used batteries are on spill-protected surfaces until recycling occurs so no spill contamination can occur.
- All tires are recycled with the manufacturer.
- Conco plants trees, bushes and shrubs where possible to offset CO2 footprint.
- The input into the quarry crushers and screens are engineered and automated to choke feed in order to increase efficiency, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
- At the quarries, we have matched loaders to trucks and other equipment and invest in operator training to increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
- Concrete is an integral part of the “Green” building programs. Conco is in the forefront of learning, understanding and promoting concrete to improve sustainability within our environment.
- We strive to provide engineers, architects and contractors with info to understand how to put Conco aggregates to work so they can better manage stormwater runoff by allowing water to drain down to the crushed stone reservoir or recharge bed.
- We encourage contractors to use regionally processed aggregates to reduce transport emissions.
All Conco Quarry and Readymix sites are governed by Missouri Department of Natural Resource Air permits. These Air Permits are based, at a minimum, on the USEPA clean air regulations.
The Air Permits required from Conco included an Application for Authority to Construct, Emissions Unit Information forms, a site layout form and worksheets for haul roads, storage piles and fuel storage tanks. Information needed with these forms included a drawing of the site layout, a listing of all process equipment that will be used with its manufacturer; date manufactured and serial number; and the rated design performance of the equipment. All equipment that has been manufactured after Aug. 31, 1983, is subject to a federal New Source Performance Standard that limits opacity from operating the equipment.
The Missouri DNR Air Pollution Control Program (APCP) offers an electronic construction permit application for rock quarries and readymix concrete batch plants that may be used for initial permit application or amendments. An air nomograph modeling spreadsheet must include data about the proposed operation and the program calculates the ambient air impact from the proposed operation and determines if production must be limited to meet air quality standards. For some locations, detailed modeling must be performed. Based on projected air emissions, the modeling will determine the amount of annual and daily rock production that will be limited to the site.
An Operating Air permit is also required at locations that have been authorized by the Missouri DNR to be able to produce above a de-minimus level. These Operating permits must be renewed every five years.
All Conco locations have the required air permits in place. All on-site personnel have been trained about the requirements of their permits and are expected to operate the plant according to those requirements.
If you have any questions or concerns about air quality around any Conco facilities, please feel free to call the Environmental Director for Conco Companies.
See Missouri DNR Clean Water Operating Permits
All Conco Quarry and Readymix sites are governed by Missouri Department of Natural Resource stormwater permits. These stormwater Permits are based, at a minimum, on the USEPA clean water regulations.
The water quality is protected around all quarries within the United States under the EPA Clean Water Act. The Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments (later referred to as the original Clean Water Act) were introduced on October 18, 1972 with original goals of eliminating releases to water of high amounts of toxic substances, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that surface waters would meet standards necessary for human sports and recreation by 1983. This Act required for the first time a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharging water off property Major amendments to that regulation were introduced with the Clean Water Act in 1977 and the Water Quality Act of 1987. Missouri filed for state control and its’ SIP (State Implementation Plan) was accepted by the EPA to take charge of the federal law and enforce it on the state level.
These permits must be renewed every five years. Through the years Missouri has come to better understand water issues from specific industries. Based on the requirements that are pertinent to specific industries, the Missouri Department of Resources have revised the permitting system to include general permits for specific industries, such as readymix plants and quarries. These permits contain the same restrictions as an individual NPDES permit, but is more simply focused on the elements that have potential consequences from a readymix plant or quarry environment.
According to the current permits, testing of stormwater is required once yearly at each identified runoff location leaving Conco property. Testing for stormwater discharges includes flow, pH level (between 6-9 pH units), oil & grease (daily maximum 15 mg/L) and settleable solids (daily maximum 70 mg/L).
According to the current permits, testing of any non-stormwater discharges are required quarterly. Testing for non-stormwater discharges includes flow, pH level (between 6-9 pH units), oil & grease (daily maximum 15 mg/L) and total suspendable solids (daily maximum 15 mg/L).
This testing has been conducted by an independent lab since Conco has been required to do testing. All tests have been within required limits, or improvements were made to bring discharges within limits.
If you have any questions or concerns about water quality around any Conco facilities, please feel free to call the Environmental Director for Conco Companies.
Rock quarries that began mining on or after January 1, 1972 are required to have a Land Reclamation Plan developed, submitted and a permit received from the Missouri DNR Land Reclamation Division. Conco Quarries, both in Willard and the quarry at Galloway, have been in existence well before 1972. Both quarries were almost the first quarries to submit a reclamation plan and receive permits in the state of Missouri. The Missouri DNR Land Reclamation Division requested the Director of Quarry Operations at Willard at that time to serve on the Land Reclamation Commission.
The Land Reclamation permit is very important in protecting against potential erosion, to correct areas of weak vegetation reestablishment and to ensure that the quarry will be reclaimed to a positive, sustainable existence after all mining is complete.
Both Conco Quarries have enough reserves that the Land Reclamation Plan for future development lists potential expectations. However, because the time frame to complete mining in either of these locations still exist so far in the future, land development opportunities are expected to change and it is impossible to currently provide these future specific details. It is important to note that based on Missouri DNR Land Reclamation regulations, whenever the time comes for the future development of mining property to non-mining property, Conco is committed to, as well as required by law, to reclaim the land to the best possible condition for use after mining is completed.
If you have any questions or concerns about land issues around any Conco facilities, please feel free to call the Environmental Director for Conco Companies.