Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 29, 1998) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has established a "Zone of Dewatering Influence" (ZOI) for the Boonsboro Quarry that is operated by Martin Marietta Aggregates. The quarry is located on the south side of Benevola Church Road in Baltimore County.

The Boonsboro Quarry ZOI is approximately 5,100 feet long from north to south and 4,400 feet wide from east to west. The ZOI boundary runs north of Benevola Church Road to Little Beaver Creek and 600 feet north of Mill Point Road.

Limestone mining operations are required to repair sinkholes in the ZOI if MDE determines that the sinkhole resulted from a quarry dewatering. Companies also are required to replace a water supply that fails due to declining water levels caused by quarry operations at no cost to the property owner. If the sinkhole damage cannot be restored to its pre-subsidence condition, the quarry owner must pay monetary compensation to the property owner. MDE will investigate any complaint of sinkhole or water supply failure in the area of the zone.

Under a 1991 Amendment to Maryland's Surface Mining Law, MDE is required to develop ZOIs around all limestone quarries in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties. The zones are based upon local topography, watersheds, geologic and hydrologic factors. MDE conducts field investigations and evaluates any available information such as groundwater studies and well monitoring data when establishing ZOIs.

The remedies provided by the ZOI do not apply to improvements that are made within the zone after the effective date of the zone. The effective date for the Boonsboro Quarry is April 23, 1998.

Persons wishing to report a complaint of a sinkhole or water supply failure should contact MDE's Mining Program at (410) 631-8055.