Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer has taken a strong stand against Arbuckle Aggregate’s application to open a rock quarry north of Mill Creek. The two entities were holding conversations looking for common ground and those have come to an end. And now Arbuckle may have another roadblock because of a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.


Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer has taken a strong stand against Arbuckle Aggregate’s application to open a rock quarry north of Mill Creek. The two entities were holding conversations looking for common ground and those have come to an end. And now Arbuckle may have another roadblock because of a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

 

Known as the Daffin ruling, the court has ruled that previous permit hearings were unconstitutional as they were limited to those living within a mile of the projected spot rather than those who would be affected by mining. In view of the ruling, CPASA is asking the Department of Mining to require Arbuckle Aggregate to republish its mining application.

 

“The Department of Mines will make a ruling and then protests can be made,” Amy Ford, president of CPASA, said.

 

CPASA is committed to fighting the permit in view of Arbuckle Aggregate’s reluctance to adhere to mining guidelines recommended to protect the aquifer.

 

“CPASA has requirements Arbuckle must meet, like Hanson Aggregates did,” Ford said.

 

“Arbuckle failed to meet the requirements, ending all discussions. Everyone that gets water from the aquifer needs to protest the permit so Arbuckle will be forced to manage the water properly.”

 

It is an issue that hits home for Ardmore, which is dependent on the aquifer for its water supply.

 

“In my opinion, water is the next oil,” Scott Chapman, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, said. “You can’t live without water and we have to do everything we can to protect our water rights.”

 

For those reasons, the chamber has joined CPASA in protesting the permit and the number is expected to grow.

 

Ford said negotiations with Arbuckle have broken off because of the aggregate company’s unwillingness to agree to the same set of guidelines that Hanson Aggregate agreed to. She said Arbuckle hoped negotiations would lead to CPASA dropping its protest, which will not be the case.

 

“We had met regularly with Hanson Aggregates over their new operations at Mill Creek. They were on board to protect the aquifer,” Ford said. “With Arbuckle, we were not going to require anything less and they wouldn’t come to terms with that.”

 

Michael Pineda
221-6542