The mining company said the Army Corps required them to choose compensatory mitigation that was “in-kind” to the impacts on Yule Creek and as close as possible to the affected area.
Colorado Stone Quarries officials must address public comments, propose plan to mitigate damage caused by creek relocation.
They also say the company, which was found to have violated the Clean Water Act for moving the section of Yule Creek without first applying for a permit, should undertake river restoration projects elsewhere in the Crystal River basin as compensatory mitigation for damage the company caused when it moved the waterway to construct a road to better access its marble quarry.
Representatives from local groups expressed frustration that the permitting process for the creek relocation is happening after the fact, and they said they plan to submit comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency overseeing the permit application.
“Residents of the valley are concerned that future negligent or illegal actions taken by this company may put both Yule Creek and the Crystal River at additional risk,” the letter reads.
The violation occurred when the mining company moved a tributary of the Crystal River to make room for a new road.
Because of ongoing cleanup and water-quality monitoring as a result of the spill, the temporary road and creek diversion will be in place longer than intended — until at least the fall of 2022, according to a report from the company.
The reason Yule Creek may have been spared from the spill is because it has been diverted from its natural channel to allow for expansion of the quarry.