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Dust storms from industrial operations cause concern for Lehi residents

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 23:44:04-04

LEHI, Utah - Local residents are upset about dust storms coming from six mining companies in Lehi. They said the dust holds particles of Crystalline Silica that create a health hazard.

"That's why traditionally, we keep mining and residential separate," one Lehi resident, Delane Barrus, said.

Barrus has been watching the dust storms for over a year now and said Lehi City is allowing the mining to go on, despite the potential risks for those living just 400 feet away.

Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson's Office emailed a statement which read:

"The city is aware of the complaints regarding dust. Mayor Johnson has asked city staff to investigate the proper government agency to oversee regulations and enforcement. The Utah State Department of Air Quality is scheduled to visit the site in question and will meet July 3rd with Lehi City to review the requirements.“

Angie Parkin, who's lived in the community for over 10 years, said this project will go on for years if it's not stopped now.

"Can you imagine," Parkin asked. "12 hours a day, six days a week for three and a half years. It's a long, long, long time."

The dust isn't the only thing bothering residents. Barrus said there is a conveyor belt that runs down to one of the Geneva facilities.

Talking with a Geneva spokesman on the phone, he said he saw the dust in one of the videos Barrus had posted on Facebook but claimed it was from one of the six other neighboring mining companies, not Geneva.

"We've put $30 million dollars into dust control and remission," the spokesman said, then finished off stating they are complying with the State's plans and regulations.

Another neighboring company, Staker Parson, emailed a statement which read:

"We actively control our dust emissions through the use of water sprays on our processing equipment, applying water controls to our haul roads, and applying water controls to our rock and sand stockpiles. We continually make every effort to control our dust emissions and be a good neighbor in the communities where we operate."

Barrus says he hasn't seen the water systems needed to control the dust--a problem he said is bigger than just their community.

"This isn't just an issue for this development," Barrus said. "This is an issue for Utah County, for Draper. They've been battling this for years, but now it's coming this close to homes."