Communities in Action

Orono, ME: Community Defeats Dirty Mining Operation:
Stopping quarry construction

Late last year, neighbors in Orono celebrated a victory against a poorly sited quarry proposal. Thornton Construction had proposed to open a gravel quarry right next to a residential neighborhood and adjacent to the Orono Caribou Bog, a prized recreation area.

Concerned about adverse impacts to groundwater and private drinking wells, noise pollution and structural damage from blasting, and air pollution from rock-crushing and diesel truck traffic, neighbors banded together and formed a group called the Kelley Hill Neighborhood Working Group.Toxics Action Center’s Maine Community Organizer Hannah Snyder, helped the group develop a strategy and connect with experts.

Last fall, community members were unrelenting, gathering dozens of letters to town decision-makers, handing out lawn signs, and shining a spotlight on the potential hazard in the media. Late last December, their work got results when the Thornton Construction voluntarily withdrew its application to open a quarry on Kelley Hill in Orono.