JOPLIN, Mo. – On November 15, a letter was distributed to Joplin residents who live near a proposed mine plan area. The letter, distributed by Philip Vogel of Riverside Sand and Gravel, notified residents that Riverside Sand and Gravel has applied for a permit expansion to mine sand and/or gravel on an additional three acres of land for a total of 12 acres, located in Newton County.
According to the letter, these operations would take place between Jan. 1, 2021 and August 13, 2030, for a total of nine years.
On Nov. 20, an online petition was created opposing the mining project.
“This nine year project will destroy the beautiful southern area of Joplin Mo,” the petition states.
This would not be the first time Riverside Sand and Gravel has mined in the area, but rather an expansion. The petition claims that the damage done in the past is irreparable.
“Another nine more years of this destructive pattern will only increase the flooding that we have endured from his desire for profit vs beauty will affect the entire community. The Parks and waterways in Joplin is what everyone enjoys on the weekends and this continual destruction of the historic Shoal Creek should upset everyone in this community,” said the petition.
In the past, local resident Janet Lacey says the mining of sand and gravel around the river has created issues in the area.
“Now he wants to include three additional acres, which is the southeast location of the property, which is the property adjacent to the neighborhood and across the street from me. So it will affect the neighborhood even more so,” said Lacey.
Lacey’s concerns include disturbing the flow of the river, air quality affected by dust, traffic and noise issues, the water bank being exposed to erosion and more.
“I don’t know how much more that creek can take,” she said.
Riverside Sand and Gravel’s public notice is being published in the Newton County News for four consecutive weeks, the final publication being on December 9. Following the final publication, residents have “no later than fifteen days” to request an informal public meeting regarding the project.
Riverside Sand and Gravel declined to comment.