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Rock Hill Quarry

This page was last updated on April 10, 2024

The Rock Hill Quarry, owned by Hanson Aggregates PA, LLC, located in East Rockhill Township, Bucks County, has been active since it was first permitted in 1976. In 2017, R.E. Pierson was awarded a contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for turnpike construction projects and was the contract operator of the Rock Hill Quarry. In May 2020, Hanson and Pierson terminated their contract; Hanson will remain the owner/permittee, while Pierson will no longer operate at this site.

Information concerning applications, approval, and ongoing asbestos investigation associated with the quarry can be found below. Additional related documents may be found in DEP files maintained at the Pottsville District Mining or Southeast Regional Office. For more information on scheduling a file review, please visit DEP's Public Records page.

Site Facts

Municipality: East Rock Hill Township
Permitted Since: 1976
Owner: Hanson Aggregates PA, LLC
Permits Currently Issued:
1. Surface Mining Permit (requires modification)
2. NPDES Permit (renewed November 2018; under appeal here; renewal application submitted January 2023)

Commonly Used Terms

DEP, EPA, academia and industry use many complicated terms when discussing asbestos and the associated sampling and laboratory testing. The Commonly Used Terms document contains definitions of terms which have been used in the various documents relating to the Rock Hill Quarry posted on this site. Definitions selected in this guide were extracted from two federal resources.

Current Status

As of December 21, 2020, mining and related activities remain under a cessation order.

On December 5, 2018, DEP was notified of a positive asbestos test result from a sample of rock collected at the Quarry. DEP immediately ordered the cessation of all mining, rock crushing, sizing, and other related activities. The cessation will remain in effect until rescinded, in writing, by DEP. More information regarding the asbestos investigation can be found below. The cessation refers to quarrying activities; some activities, such as sampling, monitoring, and inspections may still be observable.

At this time, the long-term future of the Rock Hill Quarry is still undetermined. DEP must work with the property owner to assess potential future options for the site, while continuing to investigate and assess the presence of Naturally Occurring Asbestos.

As DEP works with the current owner/permittee to collect additional necessary data, the department is continuing to evaluate all available information and resources, including that which has been shared by stakeholders, sister agencies, and the community. The health and safety of residents, employees, and the environment remains a top priority and DEP is committed to continued transparency as the future of the site is evaluated.

Community Updates

To subscribe to updates, please send an email to RA-EPMining@pa.gov

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Non-Coal Surface Mining

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Non-Coal Surface Mining – Naturally Occurring Asbestos Investigation

Summary

The Rock Hill Quarry is large noncoal surface mine. The mineral actinolite, which can sometimes contain asbestos fibers has been found at the site. The Department has therefore required testing and investigations to determine if actual asbestos fibers are present within the rock being mined and in future mining areas. The initial and subsequent investigation and sampling did not identify asbestos. However, in December 2018, a rock sample tested positive for asbestos fibers. The Department, upon notice of the positive sample analysis, ceased all mining and crushing activities at the site, and they remain ceased at this time. The Department also required additional testing, sampling and investigation be undertaken at the site; and a plan outlining that proposed work will be submitted to the Department.

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Timeline

On April 10, 2024, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, responding to concerns expressed by the Rockhill Environmental Preservation Alliance, Inc. in their January 9, 2024 letter to DEP.

On February 1, 2024 DEP responded to the December 27, 2023 letter from Bucks County Commissioners Robert J. Harvie, Jr., Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia and Gene DiGirolamo that expressed concern over the testing methods conducted at Rock Hill Quarry.

On January 23, 2024, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, responding to the concerns expressed by Bucks County Commissioners Robert J. Harvie, Jr., Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia and Gene DiGirolamo, dated December 27, 2023.

On January 9, 2024 DEP received a letter from the Rockhill Environmental Preservation Alliance, Inc. (REPA) regarding the proprietary methods used by the R.J. Lee Group (RJLG) to analyze rock and air data at the Rockhill quarry site.

On December 27, 2023, DEP received a letter from the Bucks County Commissioners expressing concern over the testing methods conducted at Rock Hill Quarry.

On December 19, 2023, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, regarding the removal of the required tonnage of minerals to maintain the active operation requirements for the calendar year 2023.

On October 12, 2023, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, of the results from the August 22, 2023 limited activity based sampling event 4. Attachments include laboratory analysis of samples collected during the sampling event, meteorological data collected from the Quarry weather station and GPS vehicle tracking data logs for equipment used during the event.

On September 13, 2023 DEP received a letter from Rockhill Environmental Preservation Alliance, Inc. responding to Heidelberg Materials Northeast LLC letter dated August 17, 2023.

On September 11, 2023 DEP received a letter and the first round of responses from Earthres Group, Inc., on behalf of Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, This letter and associated documents are in response to the PA DEP’s Review letter dated May 31, 2023 and extension letter dated July 17, 2023. The remainder of the responses to the Review letter are due on September 30, 2024.

On August 17, 2023 DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, responding to the concerns expressed by the Rockhill Environmental Preservation Alliance, Inc. in their July 5, 2023 letter to DEP.

On July 17, 2023, DEP sent a letter to Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, responding to their June 29, 2023 time extension request. DEP has granted the request with conditions.

On July 5, 2023 DEP received a letter from Rockhill Environmental Preservation Alliance, Inc. expressing concerns about the results of the Heidelberg Materials Limited Activity Based Sampling Event 3.

On June 29, 2023 DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, acknowledging receipt of DEP’s deficiency letter dated May 31, 2023. Heidelberg is requesting a time extension to collect, review, analyze and report data needed for a response.

On June 21, 2023, DEP sent a letter to Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, acknowledging receipt of their April 12, 2023 Sampling Event 3: Stockpile Movement test results. DEP is approving Heidelberg to proceed with the Activity Based Sampling Event 4: 500 ton Removal Event and to apply certain conditions.

On May 31, 2023, DEP sent a Technical Deficiency Letter to Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, regarding their January 23, 2023 renewal and modification of their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at the Rock Hill Quarry. The letter lists concerns that the technical section of the District Mining Office has with the application so that they may be addressed. Also, comments that were received from East Rockhill Township on May 5, 2023 regarding the application are also included in the attached correspondence.

On May 17, 2023, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, of the results from the April 12, 2023 limited activity based sampling event 3 – Stockpile Movement, in accordance with DEP’s December 8, 2022 approval letter. The results include laboratory analysis of samples collected during the sampling event, meteorological data collected from the Rock Hill Quarry weather station from April 9, 2023 through April 12, 2023, and GPS vehicle tracking data logs for equipment used during the event.

On May 5, 2023, DEP received comments from East Rockhill Township regarding the January 23, 2023, NPDES Permit Modification and Renewal Application for the Rock Hill Quarry which Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, provided to DEP.

On May 2, 2023, DEP received a laboratory analysis report from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, for their April 12, 2023 activity-based sampling event.

On April 21, 2023, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, of the results from the April 12, 2023 limited activity based sampling event 3 – precipitation data, in accordance with DEP’s December 8, 2022 approval letter. Heidelberg monitored the weather and precipitation from the Rock Hill Quarry for 35 hours prior to the start of the sampling.

On March 8, 2023, DEP received a letter from Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, stating that their corporate name changed from Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania, LLC. Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, sent documentation to allow for the corporate name change on all permits managed by Moshannon District Mining Office, including the Rock Hill Quarry permit.

On January 23, 2023, DEP received a letter from Earthres Group, Inc., on behalf of Heidelberg Materials Northeast, LLC, submitting a NPDES Permit Modification and Renewal Application for the Rick Hill Quarry Operation which proposes to replace the existing NPDES Discharge Point 001 with three individual discharge points, as well as increasing the discharge rate to accommodate the future dewatering of the currently filled quarry pit.

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Non-Coal Surface Mining - Inspection Reports

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Non-Coal Surface Mining – NPDES

On January 26, 2018, DEP received 4th Quarter 2017 NPDES Discharge Monitoring Reports from Hanson Aggregates PA.

Air Quality

There are no active Air Quality permits issued for this site. All historical information has been archived below. Recent inspection reports are below.

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