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At 8436 East Apache Trail, in the middle of a neighborhood, is a row of hills known as Twin Knolls.
The eastern hills are about to be completely destroyed by a gravel mine.   The mine has been approved.
It's scheduled to begin operation this year and will take 8 to 12 years to slowly grind the hills down to nothing.

    1. What we want:
            A preserve or park protecting the existing eastern hills from developement.

    2. What we will accept:
            Houses built on the existing terrain.   Read More

    3. What we reject:
            The destruction of existing terrain to build more houses by using mining as a cheap and
            unhealthy way to destroy a natural neighborhood landmark for profit.   Read More

 
 
   We have a GoFundMe page to raise funds for expenses and legal action to stop the mining of the Knolls.  Click here to donate.            
 
 

Questions, new info, or to be added to our updates list,
email us here
- Save Twin Knolls Email

Join us on

   
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     Update - September 12, 2020

Hello All,

Sorry it has been so long between updates but with so few of us who have volunteered to work
on this project, I have not had time to write. Hope everyone is well and staying cool!

I am going to be vague in what some of our plans are and the reason for that is that we need
an element of surprise against those we are fighting and this is a public website.

The latest on the Air Quality Permit is that there should be an October public (on-line) meeting
where we will be given an opportunity to express our concerns.
As with the March 11 meeting the focus is not that we don’t want the mining but what are our
concerns about air quality should the mining begin. I am hoping as a neighborhood we can gather
for this and put together some educated questions and demands about air quality that we can present
to Maricopa Department of Air Quality. There are thousands of you out there so I certainly hope you
will take the time to put together some thoughts and email them to our email link on this site.
We want to be organized and not caught with our pants down, so to speak, like we were at the
Reclamation Plan meeting on March 11, 2020.

The air quality permit is the last piece before the destruction can begin, so time is really
running out for action to be taken.
If you have not called or written to the Maricopa Department of Air Quality to express your concerns,
call 602-506-6010 or email a complaint to AQmail@maricopa.gov

We are horrified by the law, ARS 11-812, that is allowing Custom Landscape Materials, LLC, and the
owners of the property to start a mine in the middle of an existing neighborhood. If you have not
already written to our state representatives asking for change, that would be helpful.
As it stands now, John Fillmore and Kelly Townsend will be our reps during the next legislative session.
Another representative will be elected but we won't know who until after the election.
Kelly will be in the Senate, moving from the House of Reps, but her vote will be needed to change the law.
David Farnsworth has completed his terms in the legislature and is running for some other office I believe.
Rusty Bowers, if reelected, is not in our district but he is currently the Speaker of the House
and as it seems, the Speaker has a huge say in what laws pass or don’t.
Contact information is on our website.

Our very small group of volunteers is working all angles to try and stop this project but we have
been unsuccessful so far. This is partly because we don’t have sufficient funds in GoFundMe to hire
legal representation and no one has offered up any attorney friend who could at least give us guidance.
All the big pro-bono firms have turned us down even though this project, if it proceeds, will
be setting a horrible precedent for the entire state of Arizona.

We have spent $204.00 , which will be reimbursed from GoFundMe, to simply consult with an attorney but
we do not have anything close to the money it would take to retain an attorney to work these issues for us.
We are doing the best we can with what we have.

Some of you saw the Channel 15 news truck in the neighborhood last week.
It is my understanding they are looking into doing a story on this nightmare we are having
and not just that but asking how mining could happen to a neighborhood where the mine is
closer than a stone’s throw to so many homes.

Cathy

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Custom Landscape has submitted to the Maricopa Air Quality Department for an air quality permit.
If they meet the requirements, the county must approve the permit request.

On August 13 we provided the Maricopa Air Quality Department with data explaining in detail
why the Department's air quality permitting requirements are inadequate for this mine.

Their dust control precedures are designed specifically for mine sites at or below ground level.
Air flow over a hill of this size is much different than would occur over flat terrain.

We have provided evidence of the following conditions that will exist at this mine site:
1. An increase of mean wind speed with height,
2. strong turbulent fluctuations of wind speed at all heights,
3. a broad band of frequencies of the fluctuations or gusts, and
4. similar patterns of gusts at all heights.

These conditions are unique to this location on the top of a hill and are unlike any other mine
location they have ever approved. Since homes and families are all around this mine site, it is
critical for their permitting process to be well supported by studies of potential problems with
particulate control. The safety of this neighborhood requires it.

This neighborhood has been here for over 50 years.
If this permitting process allows a mine to be located right in the middle of the neighborhood,
a thorough study must be done to verify the effectiveness of dust and particulate controls.

The unique location of this mine on top of a 130 foot hill and it's incredibly close proximity
to neighborhood homes can not be treated casually as an administrative issue.
Any true and honest evaluation of these conditions will require studies to determine what
safeguards are necessary and what measures will be adequate to protect this neighborhood.

Here are copies of the permit request and air quality rules:
    Permit Application     Rule 316     Rule 316 Handbook

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Time line of what has transpired to date:

April 19, 2019 - Twin Knolls property owner John Oertle submitted a Mining Exemption Application to
the Maricopa County Planning and Development Department to allow for aggregate mining on the property.

May 2, 2019 - Ray Banker, Planner in the Maricopa County Planning and Development
Department, created a plan summary. The summary provided an aerial view of the subject property
clearly showing a heavily populated residential area surrounding the property.
There are also numerous businesses to the south of, and adjacent to, the Twin Knolls property.

December 2019 - The Final Reclamation Plan was submitted to the Mining Office.
According to this plan, mining operations are scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2020.

The week of February 10, 2020 - Some residents received a letter from the Arizona State
Mine Inspector’s Office dated February 5, 2020 advising of a meeting on March 11, 2020.
This letter was the first notification residents received about our new neighbor, the mine.
The March 11 meeting was to be about the reclamation plan only. The mine was already approved.

March 11, 2020 - Reclamation Plan meeting at the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office.
We attempted to table the meeting due to failure to properly notify homeowners as required by law.
The Assistant Attorney General, who headed the meeting, refused to table the discussion.
Custom Landscaping Materials stated they had done a study of the flora and fauna on the Knolls
and they said they found nothing.
We asked when mining was scheduled to begin. The answer was "we don't know".
AZ State Legislator John Fillmore attended and was very vocal in support of saving Twin Knolls.
Here is the March 11 meeting audio. You may have to download in order to play it.

March 14, 2020 - An article about the mine appeared in the Arizona Republic.
AZ Republic reporter Alison Steinbach interviewed Sam Schippers, vice president of
Custom Landscape Materials(CLM), the company leasing the land to do aggregate mining.
Schippers said a third party has done “thorough studies on the wildlife”.
“The only thing we’ve found of any concern was a significant population of rattlesnakes,” he added.

March 16, 2020 - We received the December 2019 Reclamation Plan Final.
This is when we learned mining operations were scheduled to begin in Spring of 2020.

March 29, 2020 - About 30 folks came out to protest the destruction of Twin Knolls.
Helen Hunter, who is running for LD16 House of Representatives, also showed up to help us protest.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to raise awareness of this scandal.

April 13, 2020 - Cathy had a call with Steve Chucri, County Supervisor.
They discussed the elusive Flora and Fauna study and Supervisor Chucri's office will try to
secure that from whomever may have it.
Supervisor Chucri has reached out to Oertle and to CLM and both have been none responsive.
A conference call was scheduled with the landscape company and they were a no show.

May 14, 2020 - We found that the Flora and Fauna study that Custom Landscape said was done
does not exist at any government entity.
Sam Schippers claimed the Mining Inspector's Office had it which they did not.
Neither did other government entities we checked with.

June 20, 2020 - Representative Fillmore addressed a neighborhood meeting
and recommended we continue to write and call, specifically City of Mesa, Maricopa
Board of Supervisors, all our District and State Legislators AND he also suggested the Governor.
He suggested writing YOUR story and how this situation would negatively impact YOU.