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Lafarge explosion monitored

The Town of Niagara allowed Lafarge North America to set off an explosion Tuesday on the north side of its rock quarry on Tuscarora Road after shutting down the blasting in June.

Supervisor Steven C. Richards said the town is waiting for results of air and ground vibrations from the explosion to determine whether it will allow the blasting to resume.

Richards said Tuesday night after a Town Board meeting that Lafarge had given the town a detailed report explaining how it would attempt to address concerns about the quarry blasting's impact on nearby residents. Lafarge has offered to change the way the explosions are done within the quarry in an attempt to reduce the effect on homes.

The town inspector issued a "cease and desist" order to Lafarge in June for violating town codes and a town-issued excavation permit after residents of a nearby manufactured home park on Tuscarora Road complained that the explosions have damaged their homes.

The town also wants Lafarge to meet four times a year with residents who live in the area.

"They've got to communicate with the residents there and address their issues," Richards said.

The test explosion was done on the north side of the quarry, while blasting earlier this year has been done on the east side of the quarry closer to Tuscarora Village Mobile Home Park.

Sharon Ruth, one of more than two dozen Tuscarora Village residents who have reported damage to their homes, said the homeowners have hired an attorney to help them determine who is responsible. She said that Tuesday's blast was loud but that vibrations were not as strong as previous explosions.

The Lafarge quarry has been operating within limits set by its Mined Land Reclamation permit and had taken steps to reduce the impact of the blasting before the town stopped the explosions. William E. Poole, general manager, said in June that the company may have to lay off 12 employees if it could not resume blasting.


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