Concerns are growing over a proposed project in Madera County. For the past ten years, Vulcan Materials has been working to shift operations from their current rock quarry near Friant to a new location at the intersection of Highways 41 and 145.

But the move, however, is not sitting well with local residents.


“I don’t believe that’s a very good location where they’re putting it,” Kenny McFarrin said.

McFarrin lives in Madera County. He’s had some water problems, and is concerned a new rock quarry won’t help.

“They’re going to be sucking all of the water out when they’re blasting and cleaning the rocks and sifting it and silting and all this stuff through. That it will eventually impact us,” McFarrin said.

McFarrin is just one of many county residents who are worried about Vulcan Materials’s proposed Austin Quarry.

It will be built in the south west corner of Highways 41 and 145. Mike Linton with Vulcan Materials says it’s a prime location.

“Rock, basically, undercropping comes down out of the mountains and ceases at that location so we’re catching the tail end of the rock outcropping,” Linton said.

Concerns have been raised and even a website, ‘No on Austin Quarry’ has been created by the Madera Oversight Coalition, citing concerns over traffic, water and environment, and saying the quarry will have nearly four thousand trucks coming and going every day, and the water table could drop 50 to 100 feet.

Linton says they have worked with the county to address those concerns. As for traffic, they are providing road improvements and adding lanes, and says they will average 200 trucks a day.

To help with the water, they will use 85 acre feet a year at maximum usage and do more.

“We’re actually bringing in 100 acre feet of water from outside the county and making that available to the county purely as a donation,” Linton said.

Matthew Treber with the County Planning Department says the 100 acre feet of water was a county implemented condition.

“I would say Vulcan to date has agreed to all of the mitigation measures and the conditions of approval that are a part of this problem,” Treber said.

McFarrin says he doesn’t have a problem with the quarry, he just wants to make sure it doesn’t harm its neighbors.

“I just hope that when they’re doing this, that what they’re really looking at is the big picture and not just what’s going to benefit the company that’s doing the rock quarry,” McFarrin said.

The Madera County Planning Commission will be voting on the permits Tuesday night at 6:00.