Will blasting move away from New Britain Neighbors?

During the Senate Bill 300 public hearing the following testimony was given about future blasting distances for New Britain quarry neighbors:

"The project would benefit the quarry’s neighbors by initiating a long term shift in mining
operations away from neighborhoods in both Plainville and New Britain."

Gary Wall, President of Tilcon Connecticut

"During a Town Hall meeting on February 17th to discuss the creation of a new water source, many community leaders and I heard from residents about the dire need to relocate the blasting at Tilcon quarry. The further away from homes the better. Right now Tilcon can come within 200 feet of someone’s home.

This practice will continue for another 30 years unless this legislation is allowed to move forward. With this project, blasting would be moved farther away from homes—up to 3,000 feet away."

Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain

Long term the blasting can not move away from New Britain neighbors. The proposed quarry is on the New Britain side of the quarry (see image below). So although blasting may initially move further away to the Plainville side of the quarry, long term the blasting will need to return to the New Britain side. Instead of 10 years of local blasting, New Britain neighbors are looking at 40-50 years of local blasting. For houses on Hickory Hill Road the blasting will be closer. This will increase disturbance and potential damage to these buildings. It will also decrease the market value of the properties in the area.

The following image shows the proposed reservoir outline (light blue line) and where the current blasting is (red oval). The purple arcs show similar blasting distances of future quarrying from Hickory Hill Road residences. So not only will blasting not be moving away, it will be moving closer for these neighbors.

Blasting will get closer to Hickory Hill Road long term if the quarry is expanded.

Will there be a 1000 foot forested buffer for New Britain Neighbors?

During the S.B. 300 public hearing the following testimony was given about a 1000 foot quarry buffer around the quarry:

"The project would benefit the quarry’s neighbors by initiating a long term shift in mining operations away from neighborhoods in both Plainville and New Britain. This would immediately minimize the impact of blasting, as an increased 1,000 foot forested buffer would be established around the perimeter of the quarry."

Gary Wall, President of Tilcon Connecticut

The blasting required for the proposed reservoir would be within the following distances of New Britain neighbors:

  • 550 feet - Acme-Monaco, 75 Winchell Road
  • 875 feet - 94 Bunnel Street
  • 875 feet - 206 Hickory Hill Road

The image below shows where a 1000 foot buffer would have to extend for these 3 neighboring New Britain properties.

Does New Britain Need the Tilcon Reservoir?

The justification for destroying the protected Class I and Class II watershed land is that the strip mining is being done to build a reservoir. But the watershed will be so limited for this reservoir that it will only yield 160,000 gallons/day. New Britain just sold the Patton Brook well in Southington that had a yield of 1.3 million gallons/day and justified it by saying that New Britain's water needs were met by the current supplies. Due to all the controversy generated by the sale of the well, the Mayor wrote a response that appeared in the New Britain City Journal, Mayor Responds to Well Opposition. In that article the Mayor states:

"Comments about running out of water are simply untrue, as currently we are only using about 55 percent of the water that we can produce."

Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain

To fill the reservoir it is proposed to fill it with flood water at Water Department properties where those waters are not currently being captured. One proposal is to build a reservoir on land that New Britain owns in Burlington near Lamson Corner. Plans for this future reservoir go back before the Tilcon reservoir was proposed. The proposed capacity is 500 million to 1 billion gallons of water. But what is the purpose of the proposed Tilcon reservoir if the Lamson Corner Reservoir can capture and hold up to one billion gallons of flood waters? Isn't that redundant storage capacity?

Additionally no one seems to be able to provide any details about the design or construction of infastructure needed for the proposed Tilcon reservoir, and in Tilcon's presentations it is often described as a potential reservoir. If there was a real need for the reservoir there would be more concern and details about the reservoir plans, and it would not be referred to as a "potential" reservoir.