Just two months after a court ordered Valley View Quarry in Portage Township to cease all operations, neighbors to the site claim the quarry owners have taken the issue to Lansing.
An attorney for the neighbors claims Senator Tom Casperson and Representative Matt Huuki are sponsoring legislation that would allow gravel pits everywhere in Michigan, as long as they don't pose harm to nearby residents. The new bill would essentially override the court's decision and allow Valley View Quarry to open again.
Opponent and neighbor to the gravel pit, Vic Betterly, is battling that bill Thursday in Lansing. He's meeting with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Senator Casperson to try and talk them out of it. Wednesday, he was coached by his attorney, Steve Pence, in Marquette.
"The sole impetus for this legislation was our victory in Houghton County on behalf of Portage Township and the citizens who were most affected by the illegal quarry," said Pence.
Betterly will meet with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources Thursday morning at 8 a.m.
Senator Casperson called TV6 late Wednesday and said that, in fact, it was the Valley View Quarry controversy that brought about his legislation. He said it's important that townships not have carte blanche to just stop a business they don't like unless they can prove the business might do substantial harm to the community.
He said even if the bill passes, Valley View will still have to meet that standard.
Casperson told TV6 that Representative Huuki's bill passed the House on Wednesday.