A crushing problem

To the Editor:

I have followed with interest the coverage of the resumption of stone quarry operations in Hall Quarry.

There are of course places and times where quarries and stone processing are appropriate and contribute to the vibrancy of a community. There are other circumstances where they don’t fit and benefit a few at the severe cost to many others.

When a construction company started expanding its operations a few years ago in Bass Harbor from an old gravel pit and storage yard to industrial mineral processing facility, there were neighborhood concerns and promises of minimal impact, berms to mitigate sound, the temporary nature of the activity, etc.

The situation now in this residential neighborhood is drastically different. What was once a wonderful and peaceful place filled with the normal sounds of nature, bell buoys, lobster boats and neighbors is now regularly filled with the whine of industrial diesel motors, beeping trucks and slamming tailgates from dawn to after dusk.

This racket, although not appreciated, doesn’t come close to the industrial nightmare we live when the big plant runs.

The rock crusher started up again last week, and although it is about one-third mile away, its vibrations pounded through our house all day, blasting its non-stop outrageous noise until just after dark. When it runs, this monstrosity can be heard easily from Lopaus Point to Seawall and parts of Manset. There are many folks living adjacent to it or in the topographical swale that are the most affected.

Saturday was a glorious, warm December day. But instead of enjoying it with my kids in our yard, I was driven out of town by the deafening roar.

Life can be noisy, and we all have to find ways to tolerate each other while at the same time respecting each other’s lifestyles. But commerce should not always rule.

I’m not sure what the final outcome will be in Hall Quarry or at the southern end of Bass Harbor, but industrial rock processing is simply incompatible with residential neighborhoods!

The companies involved clearly do not respect the neighbors they are hurting. The property and home where I grew up starting in 1972 was quiet and peaceful until industrial rock processing began in the winter of 2008. Now our part of the island is under assault while reasonable people have to hunker in their houses during the day or leave town when the machines run.

As a caretaker/property manager, I for one refuse to use materials from businesses that hurt neighborhoods at any of the cottages where I work.

If business practices cause similar noise problems in Hall Quarry, I will support the residents there and find an alternate source for materials.

There are reasonable options for all of these contractors – especially the big ones. These companies need to respect the people they sell their products and services to.

Scott Grierson


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