Dust-up develops over Point of the Mountain gravel pit proposal

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  • DonO Draper, UT
    Aug. 7, 2018 1:16 p.m.

    Here's some irony: You take gravel "just down the road" to build a school, supposedly saving money. But then the wind blows and the dust from the pit harms the kids in the school.

    I live in Draper and am sick to death (I hope not literally) of breathing the dust from the Point of the Mountain gravel pits. They are supposed to keep the dust watered down but when the wind blows harder, they don't have to water. Interesting, huh? The gravel company creating a small conservation area is not enough incentive for approval of expanded mining and pollution. Draper needs to turn this thing down, though I know current (and former) members of the city council are buying into it.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2018 11:18 p.m.

    @Dexter183 " Yes, he was a anesthesiaoligist years ago. Notice how during interviews he always wears scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck but hasn’t been employed in the medical field for over 10 years. "

    Where on earth did you come up with this? This absolutely completely false. Check before you write nutty stuff.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2018 11:13 p.m.

    @BillRands "There is more impact on health from car fumes than dust ..."

    You this how?

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 5:53 p.m.

    @FelisConcolor: It would be NIMBYism, except I don't live there.

    I do have to drive there, however. And I agree with the person who complained about their car getting sandblasted every time they drive by. Mine does too. And I have to drive by there EVERY DAY.

    So do thousands of other people.

    Some important things for Draper to think about.

  • SLC Grandma Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 8:15 a.m.

    I look west across the Salt Lake Valley and see the eroding sides of the Oquirrh Mountains due to Kennecott's operations.. how long will they last? The glacial moraines at the N-S ends of our valley are being eaten away by gravel mining. Is it a gross exaggeration to predict an ultimate Great Flat Land extending west from the Wasatch Front?

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 10:38 p.m.

    "Just about anywhere else would indeed be better."

    That is the textbook definition of NIMBY-ism. Anywhere but my neighborhood.

    The gravel pits predated most of the new homes and businesses in that area. If anyone should move, it should be the newcomers.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 11:38 a.m.

    Residents living on the Point have bigger issues at hand...it's all loose sand and gravel and just needs a wet year to slide right off the mtn. Just look at the mess a few years ago in North Salt Lake, slides will continue to happen and is the reason I said no way when my wife asked if we should move up there. All it takes is a broken sprinkler pipe.

    Also, I'm curious how Dr Moench is able to comment on economic matters.

  • BillRands Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 10:47 a.m.

    Everyone has there microscopic view. I was a executive in a sand and gravel company in the 1990's and at that time the only new deposits were in Tooele which would have doubled our gravel cost and substantially increased concrete prices. Everyone wants to see growth but as long as it doesn't impact our costs. There is more impact on health from car fumes than dust but I Don't see anyone willing to stop driving!!!

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 9:40 a.m.


    I congratulate you for crafting the worst straw man of the day.

    A gravel pit giving folks cancer = tour neighbors house color.

    When lung cancer incidence increases (and it will as the gravel mining has exploded over the last 15-20 years, and it takes time for cancer to develop) Geneva will be held accountable.

    Future generations will look back with horror and wonder how it was this was allowed.

  • James McBob American Fork, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 9:35 a.m.

    My car gets sand blasted every day I drive over the point. I get no compensation. My windshield gets broker every year, I get no compensation. This amounts to an economic taking. They make money on the gravel, I take my car to the window place and pay to have it fixed. If they had to pay for the paint jobs and broken windows caused by the activity, perhaps it would not be as profitable for them. But we subsidize them indirectly

    The state justified moving the prison and spending a billion plus to do it because the prison is an eyesore when you enter the valley. The prison is not even in the same league as that gravel operation with their Kennecott like terraces going up the mountain. Now that's an eyesore!

  • reh62 Lehi, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    This is like building a house near an airport and then complaining about the noise from the airplanes. This gravel pit operation was here long before Draper and Lehi started expanding. It is ludicrous that residents who have recently relocated to the area now demand that the gravel pit cease to exist. Should you be able to move into a neighborhood and demand that your next door neighbor tear down their house because you don't like the color or their choice of landscaping flowers? Ever heard of property rights? Geneva Rock has the right to conduct business on their land. I recently moved to Lehi and while the gravel pits not the most attractive thing to look at they are a necessity for all the building and expansion along the Wasatch Front.

  • tryingtosmile salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 8:45 a.m.

    Between the dust from the north pits and the gravel pit in Sandy , Parleys canyon has one now. They also have Geneva on the west side plus the drying up Salt Lake. Yeah here comes the dust storms of the 30's Only because we live in a valley it lingers with the smoke and pollution and our lungs are the only thing that clears the air other than the vanishing rain.

    The pit at the point went over its boundary and got busted by a resident. The officials hadn't realized and had to have photos to prove it. Otherwise they wouldn't be asking for changes. So once Draper gives up control they will do as they want. Its all about the money. Short lived money. Then they will be complaining about lung issues and complain that the insurance won't cover it.

    Short term money made anyway they can. Isn't that the Utah way?

  • Million Riverton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 8:06 a.m.

    My dad was stationed at Kearns Flying Field in World War II in the Medical Corp. It was top secret at the time but that base had the highest incidence of respiratory problems in the nation due to the flying dust. We don't have as much of those problems now due to the land being tied down with homes and grass and roads. The gravel is needed for the continued roads and new homes and concrete. It is a Catch-22, but we need gravel and this seems like the best place to get it.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    No matter the spin, it has made the Point hideous.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:43 a.m.

    It only takes a few years for greedy businesses to tear down what it took millions of years for nature to create at the the point of the mountain. I am all for private property rights. But as a person whose life is miserable due to my sensitivity to dusts, myself and others like me should seek compensation for our misery from those who kicked up the dusts at the point of the mountain. The good doctor is right. There are thousands like me who are silently suffering when the dusts are spread all over the area. Geneva Rock and those who are kicking up the dust should get ready. We will organize. When we are ready, we will meet them in Court to fight for our right to breathe clean air. The dusts from their private property is frustrating our constitutional rights to pursue happiness. It’s hard to find happiness when I am struggling to breathe.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:34 a.m.

    The water cannons, and other measures they claim to have taken tonreduce dust, are perhaps the most rediculous waste I’ve ever seen.

    Don’t believe me, look outside anytime the wind blows.

    They have created a wasteland in between two population centers, and put this is the windiest part of the valley (hence the hang gliders).

    I can’t imagine a worse eyesore, but worse, it is wrecking havoc on lungs.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:29 a.m.

    “When you are talking about mining building materials, the source of the material needs to be where the community is that is being served.“

    This is the most absurd thing I’ve graver heard from a PR man.

    I believe this company should be held liable for the damage they are doing to the people in the Wasatch front.

    The city of draper has allowed this for far too long.

  • Dexter183 Murray/Salt Lake County, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:23 a.m.

    Oppose what ever “Dr” Moench and his band of environmental extremists is for and support anything he’s against. He has fear mongered every development in the state for years using the catchy name of Utah physicians in the name of his radical group to legitimize their extreme positions. Yes, he was a anesthesiaoligist years ago. Notice how during interviews he always wears scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck but hasn’t been employed in the medical field for over 10 years. Sorry for the spelling.

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Aug. 2, 2018 5:47 a.m.

    Sure, dust from the Point of the Mountain gravel pit is a problem.

    But not as big a problem as automobile exhaust by those living within a two mile radius of the pit or the pollution individual homes create with fireplaces, mowers, etc.

    It is a tough job for government officials balancing health and growth. But, it isn’t a zero sum game.

    I appreciate Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment anti-pollution concerns, but when they say “Just say NO!” to expanding Geneva Rock at the Point of the Mountain while growth is occurring at a breakneck pace, it seems too radical. How about saying: “Just say “How can we work together” to accommodate growth, yet preserve health?”

    It seems that Geneva Rock is trying to accommodate various interests.

    Find common ground and the dust will settle out.

  • Million Riverton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 5:34 a.m.

    People don't realize how much gravel is needed for new construction, roads and to put into this sticky clay base in the Salt Lake Valley. I don't like dust flying around either but this gravel is needed for the valley and it has to come from somewhere and this area is the best fit. Perhaps more sprinklers to keep the dust down, but let them continue.

  • No Link DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 4:18 a.m.

    As you read the request in detail, Geneva is asking Draper to change language in their M2 zone to take mining from a Conditional Use to a Permitted Use--thus taking away power from Draper City.

    Further, the development agreement from Geneva mandates, mediation and then arbitration and then predetermines the venue to be Salt Lake 3rd District Court--rather than Draper City.

    It seems surprising Geneva would look to change the rules so much and strip Draper City of protective power if the mining were truly without significant negative impacts.

  • Biffmac DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 4:05 a.m.

    I have owned my house on Steep Mountain Drive for 21 years. Steep Mountain Drive is directly down slope (a 25+ degree slope) from the proposed rezone land.

    I checked the zoning when I bought and saw it was agricultural zoned land (as it still is--one house per 5 acres and no mining). I figured that there is no way the City of Draper with their master plan and P&Z rules would allow mining right downslope with all these houses. Just from a safety perspective (rockfall, slope stability and landslides).

    I still feel there is no way the mining use is compatible with homes right there. The land Geneva bought (after I bought my home) is Ag land and should remain zoned as such.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 12:50 a.m.

    Pollution regulations for quarrying are practically non-existant. I know from the dust wars here in North Salt Lake.

  • lnkmom Lehi, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 11:49 p.m.

    @Thidder, while I agree that it is an amazing resource and that the homes built right ON the slopes of the point are silly (we all know Draper is going to slide right down the mountain when we have any moderate sized earthquake). My issue is the particulates in the air. The reason hang gliders like the point is because of the air movement there. And all those particulates move too... generally South. We don't even live in Traverse Mtn, and yet we still get dust blown into our windows and home and even cars from the work done at the point. I've never experienced dust and allergies like this until moving almost directly South of these gravel pits. People's health needs to be put into consideration as well.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 11:20 p.m.

    This proposal stinks. One might even say it's the pits.

    Both the homes and the gravel pits on Traverse and the Point are already geological disasters waiting to happen. That land served important roles for millions of people living in the valleys; now, not only are we deprived of those benefits, but when the ground shifts there, as it inevitably will, we'll all be expected to bail out the homeowners as well as the gravel miners. It ought to have been preserved from development as a balanced use area e.g. USFS.

    I wonder - has anyone ever looked into how recoverable the gravel in the Thistle Slide would be? Sure, there's more silt and clay in that than in the Sickly Butchered Nub of the Mountain (the formerly beautiful Point), but while it is definitely counter to the good of Utahns in general to destroy the Point, clearing up the slide would be a serious public service, and (glancing at the 30 year old US Geological Survey report on the Slide) it contains a huge amount of gravel.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 11:19 p.m.

    The gravel pits are a travesty of public administration

    They blow dust all over the valley and are hideous

    It’s obscene that in 2018 they are allowed

    How much damage to vehicles is done by the trucks on I15 who refuse to cover their loads?

    How many people have asthma aggravated by these horrific disasters?

  • Biffmac DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 8:22 p.m.

    The talk is that there would be a center for tech businesses which would fill in as the prison is relocated. No site selection committee in their right minds would want to locate near an expanding mine emitting up to 128.86 tons of carcinogenic PM10 from this windy site for 20 years or more.

    Draper City Council needs to draw the line and say no to the rezone request, the land Geneva owns is agricultural land (A5) with the same topography they bought a decade ago. The homeowners who moved directly below that AG land 15 and 20 years ago did so with the understanding they had AG land above them.

    Geneva showed they can power cement mixers with CNG and we know they can get materials from 20 other less windy pits all along the Wasatch or develop pits in the west desert and haul using CNG, LNG or in the future electric powered Semi's. The 70 years mining at the point is long enough and they have tapped all the land zoned for mining in Draper.

    Show how green you are Clyde family and take a margin hit for the greater health of the Wasatch Front.

  • Thidder MAPLETON, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 8:20 p.m.

    The "Point of the Mountain" gravel bar is one of Utah's greatest natural resources. Mid-west states would pay a premium to have such a resource in their backyard. To curtail production of sand and gravel is ludicrous.
    Also building homes on this porous material is a huge waste of valuable water. Water your precious lawn today and the water will be in the Jordan river by noon tomorrow. Come on folks use some common sense!

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 6:42 p.m.

    If we continue to have rampant natural growth these types of problems will only get worse.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 6:08 p.m.

    I agree with Moench - time for the pits to go.

    Now that the area has been filled in with homes, businesses, and etc, it is simply inappropriate for such an operation to be located there anymore, regardless of how "necessary" it claims to be. It is indeed, literally the worst location for such a thing.

    Just about anywhere else would indeed be better.