An Arkansas-based company is seeking a permit to mine in Calhoun County.

Old South Materials LLC has applied to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control for a permit to mine sand clay, clay, sand and topsoil about half a mile south of the intersection of Kennerly Road and Murph Mill Road, according to the public notice of intent to mine DHEC application.

The property is about 8.3 miles west of St. Matthews.

According to its application, Old South Materials plans to build a mine about 80 feet deep or 60 feet below water on about 138 acres of the total 153-acre piece of property.

The permit is being requested for a period of 25 years.

A processing plant to include a wash and a dryer will be located on the property, a portion of which has been mined in the past, according to the application.

The company does not plan to conduct any blasting operations at the site.

The company states there will not be a wastewater treatment system at the site nor will there be a discharge from the site requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The company notes air emissions will occur requiring an air-quality permit to be obtained and wetlands will be impacted, requiring an appropriate permit.

Old South Materials notes in its application that there are no cultural or historical sites on the proposed site and that none of the site will be used for solid waste collection.

The property is located on former pine land and is surrounded by timber, the application states.

In order to protect the environment and water sources, Old South says a 50-foot buffer from all wetlands will be implemented 'with the exception of the haul road crossing.'

"There will be a minimum 50-foot unexcavated setback from adjacent property lines," the application states.

The company also plans to recirculate wash water throughout the pit to limit effects on adjacent surface water and groundwater resources.

The operation will include a 3:1 slope -- meaning 3-feet of run per 1-foot of drop -- to lessen environmental runoff and dust will be controlled by a water truck, according to the application.

Old South Materials also plans to have settling ponds within pits and will be cleaned accordingly.

All storm water will be directed to the mining pit with no off-site discharges expected, according to the application.

In an effort to protect physical hazards, the company states access roads will be gated, no-trespassing signs will be posted and earth berms will be along the property lines. Earth berms and trees will also be used to screen public roadways from the operation, according to the application.

DHEC is conducting a technical review of the application and related documents and will accept written comments through Oct. 23. Public comments will be used when determining specific terms and conditions the company must follow if a permit is issued.

Through October 18, DHEC has received one written comment from the Rev. Kimmett Lott about the proposed project via email stating, "I am very opposed to this mine being built. Please send me information on a public hearing."

Lott lives next to the proposed mining project on Nandina Trail.

"My front door is within 100 yards of the property, and I have a creek that runs next to the proposed site," Lott said by email. "Everything I can find on clay mining, talks about water, air, and noise pollution."

Lott says there already is a mine in the area that starts around 7 a.m. each day.

"You can hear that very well," he said. "This mine would bring it to my front door."

"DHEC responded to the requester promptly and provided the requested information," DHEC spokesman Tom Crosby said. "We have also received a couple telephone inquiries asking general questions about the plan submitted by Old South Materials, LLC."

Where there is significant amount of public interest, DHEC may hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed operation and to receive additional public comments. Thus far, no public hearing has been scheduled.

The mine permit and related documents are available for review on DHEC's website at www.scdhec.gov/publicnotices.

Individuals wanting to be added to the mailing list for the project are asked to contact Brittani Cook at 803-898-1359 or by email at cookbd@dhec.sc.gov

For questions, additional information or to submit written comments contact: Ed Haigler, project manager at 803-898-1375 or email: haiglewe@dhec.sc.gov

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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