By Matthew Sockol
MILLSTONE – Three mines in Millstone Township have been granted extensions of their applications for permit renewals.
On the recommendation of Township Engineer Matt Shafai, the Township Committee on June 15 approved extensions to the applications of the Buck mine, the Preston mine and the Campo mine.
The scheduled deadline for the applications to be filed is July 1, according to Shafai. The mine permits must be renewed every two years.
The Buck mine was granted an extension to July 20, which was subject to Shafai receiving an application, fees, progress on the job site and any other necessary documents from the mine’s operators. The request for an extension prompted the most discussion due to the status of the mine’s retention basin.
According to Shafai, the site’s basin is not at the capacity needed for water management, despite extensive work and extensions granted to the mine to complete the basin by the committee in 2015. The engineer estimated that the basin reached 75 percent completion, but its installation had since been restarted for reasons not specified.
Shafai said the mine’s operator requested an extension of operations in 2015 to sell the soil located where the basin would be installed. The amount of soil located in the area created difficulties for the basin’s installation.
“They did sell a lot of soil, but perhaps not enough,” he said.
Attorney Walter Toto, who represents the Buck mining operation, said hydraulic control is being maintained on the site and work is only being conducted where the basin is located.
“All we are doing down there is trying to finish that basin and sell any material from that basin and nowhere else on the site,” Toto said.
When asked by Shafai what the mine could accomplish in 30 to 60 days, Toto said the basin would at least reach the completion level it was at in the summer of 2015.
Toto also said Shafai would receive the documents related to the site, which the engineer currently did not have.
Mayor Bob Kinsey, Deputy Mayor Michael Kuczinski and committee members Gary Dorfman and Nancy Grbelja voted to approve the Buck mine’s extension. Committeeman Fiore Masci voted no.
The Preston mine was granted an extension of 60 days. Shafai informed the committee that although he did not receive the new plans for the site, he received the new fees and the application along with a letter notifying him the plans were being prepared and would be submitted within two to three weeks. The engineer said there were no issues with the site.
The Campo mine was granted an extension of six months. Lucy Campo, a representative of the mine, said the extension was requested because the mine is in negotiations with Monmouth County and no mining has been performed since 2015.
“We have not had the business and (we are trying) to figure out the business off-setting the costs of the mine,” Campo said. “(The extension) is if we need it open just for the county to do restoration and things like that.”
Shafai supported Campo’s request.
“The scale is gone, all the trucks are gone, there is nothing on the site,” the engineer said. “The six-month extension is not for (Campo) to do more work, it’s to figure out what (Campo) is going to do.”
He said the Campo mine had an active approval from the Freehold Soil Conservation District.
The committee also approved the permit application of the Stavola mine, on the recommendation of Shafai. The engineer said the plans for the site have remained the same because it has not been used in 12 years.