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Neighbors balk at Berkeley County sand mine expansion

Neighbors balk as Berkeley County sand mine tries expanding. (WCIV)

A Huger sand mining company is looking to expand its operation, but neighbors aren’t happy about it.

“The mine is an eyesore. And we have them all over the place in Berkeley County,” said Paula Forbes, who lives in Berkeley County.

Donmar Sand Mines will host a public meeting Wednesday to address neighbor’s concerns. It’s scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Lowco Café on Clements Ferry Road.

Donmar Sand Mines is awaiting permission from the Berkeley County Board of Zoning Appeals to expand their operation outward, though a representative says they don’t plan to dig any deeper.

“We’d be going to 30 acres,” said Jim Rozier, a consultant for Donmar Sand Mines. “Everybody wants good roads, but it takes the right kind of sand. You need to have the right kind of sand to build those roads.”

Forbes claims some sand mines in Huger are digging so deeply it’s impacting water quality.

“I think they’re jeopardizing the water for my kids and my great grandkids. You can’t do that. You can’t put people behind development,” she said. She also says dump trucks hauling sand throughout Huger back up traffic.

“I have other family members in the community,” said Vernell Dickerson, who lives within walking distance of a mine off Highway 41. “I would like to know that they would have a quality of life to live a long, healthy life.”

“There’s not a health problem,” Rozier said when asked about Dickerson’s claims that mines have impacted her health. “There’s a number of other mines doing exactly the same thing...it does not cause a health problem.”

Rozier said Donmar Sand Mines operates six mines throughout Huger, but he says an expansion is necessary for them to acquire the sand needed for construction projects.

“There’s no explosions, there’s no chemicals, it’s strictly digging sand out of the ground for construction,” he said.

“Give me one pro to you being out here,” Forbes said of the mines. “Because our list of cons is a book thick.”

An appeal from Donmar Mining to dig deeper into the ground for sand was denied in January 2018.

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