Not in attendance: Legacy, ADEQ representatives explain absence from meeting

Friday, July 26, 2019

By Samantha Jones

Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Legacy Mining Company did not attend a recent public meeting in Berryville about Legacy’s exploratory drilling in the Winona township near Keels Creek and the Kings River. Contacted after the meeting, representatives for both entities explained their decisions not to attend.

Legacy representative Scott Moore said it was difficult to get to the meeting on short notice.

“We were only given a five-day notice,” Moore said. “Some of us are in Atlanta and some of us are in Missouri. Planning to attend something like that with a five-day notice –– it’s tough.”

ADEQ never promised to attend the meeting, agency spokesman Jacob Harper said.

“The reason for that is because Legacy Mining has not initiated any regulatory process with ADEQ at this time,” Harper said. “ADEQ would have nothing to report or add to discussion at that point.”

The exploratory work doesn’t require a permit quite yet. Harper said the Arkansas Quarry Operation, Reclamation and Safe Closure Act does not provide any requirements for exploration.

Moore confirmed that Legacy is continuing to do exploratory work near Winona Springs and said the work should be complete by the end of the month depending on the weather.

“We’re just doing exploratory drilling trying to see what’s under the ground,” Moore said. “To do any type of work going forward, we’d have to have a permit.”

So does Legacy plan to seek a permit?

“Possibly,” Moore said.

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