“They used that as an excuse … but that voicemail was pretty
clear,” Opper said. “We don’t think it was a miscommunication on
“We had directed the company to cease all mining-related
activities. They violated that,” he added.
DEQ officials noted they had received two e-mails from the
company Wednesday, asking if workers could resume operations at the
site. DEQ didn’t respond to those e-mails until nearly 5 p.m., but
the company had resumed work several hours earlier.
Opper said the department considers the company’s work Wednesday
to be in violation of its permit. DEQ is still investigating the
use of the Valley Drive access, and officials said any work done at
the site prior to Thursday may be the subject of an administrative
penalty of between $100 and $1,000 per day.
Olsen said he believes workers were at the site for three
“If they had held off, there would have been fewer irate
neighbors and less damage to our relationship with them in terms of
trust,” Opper said.
“It changes, quite frankly, my attitude toward the company. I’m
frustrated with them,” he added.
Olsen said the company is doing the right thing, although it may
have moved too quickly.