Rock Products

JUL 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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Page 9 of 59

IN THE KNOW Quarry Companies Must Battle NIMBYism with Better Tactics Opposition to quarry developments continues to grow stronger than ever because of NIMBY‐type groups, ac‐ cording to Al Maiorino of Public Strategy Group Inc.,, a public affairs firm spe‐ cializing in issue advocacy and grassroots campaigns. In North Raleigh, N.C., Martin Marietta Materials Inc. continues to battle protesters in its effort to expand the local rock quarry. A similar project is being disputed in Lexington, Ky., where the Vulcan Materials Company wants to expand their rock quarry as well. Unfortunately, locals continue to oppose the project despite the potential benefits it can bring to the community. FAST FACT COMMUNITY NIMBYism does not just stop in the U.S. though. Just re‐ cently in Melancthon, Ontario, Canada, protesters showed up in numbers to oppose an aggregate project that they say will wreak havoc on the local ecological communities. Opposition to quarries continues to grow stronger than ever because of NIMBY-type groups. Companies need to look at their strategy of building public support to counter the NIMBY effect to projects, as the outcome for a smooth entitlement of your proj‐ ect is at risk, Maiorino said. In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists state that, "There are numerous ex‐ amples of successfully reclaimed aggregate quarries, in‐ cluding residential, commercial, recreational and natural uses." If this is the case, why is there so much public opposition to quarries? Too often quarry proposals do not offer up an aggres‐ sive public affairs campaign when they announce a project, often letting crucial time pass between the an‐ nouncement of a proposal and when public outreach begins. Opponents use this time to build opposition and sway residents against these projects. By running a po‐ litical style campaign, you can reach all residents, iden‐ tify the supporters, and harness them into action for your project. Maiorino notes some crucial tactics that mining should consider in their outreach efforts: ANNOUNCE YOUR PROPOSAL WISELY When announcing a project, have a few pieces of direct mail ready to hit all the households in the host commu‐ nity to spread the positive benefits of the project. Fol‐ 8 ROCKproducts • JULY 2013 low this up with newspaper web ads, and phone bank‐ ing of the community to, again, further identify sup‐ porters. Have an open house to answer residents' questions and recruit supporters. All of this should be done in the first few weeks after announcing a project, to not allow the opposition to gel and take over the nar‐ rative. Too often companies allow precious time be‐ tween announcing a project, and disseminating information to the community. MEET WITH IDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS Once you have a database of supporters built from the mailers, ads and phone calls, the developer should meet with them so that they know they are not alone in their support, and they are a grassroots force that can begin to write letters to public officials, the newspapers, and attend key public hearings and speak out. Rarely will a supporter write a letter for you or attend and speak at a public hearing if you have not had the face to face contact with them previously. BUILD GRASSROOTS SUPPORT In addition to reaching out to residents, stakeholders and well‐known members of the community, along with businesses, associations and other civic groups should also be met with to attempt to bring on board for support. KEEP AN UPDATED DATABASE As you begin to identify supporters of your project, that information should be put in a database to refer to throughout the entitlement process of your proposal. Coding your supporters by local legislative districts can also help if you need to target a particular local legisla‐ tor who may be wavering in support. The key goal of these types of campaigns is to never allow the opponents an opportunity to seize the mo‐ ment because of inaction by the company. Just an‐ nouncing a mining project is not enough to assume that everyone will be on board to support it. By running an aggressive campaign and identifying supporters, you have taken a key step of any successful campaign. Knowing what to do with the identified members of a community who support your project is the next step, and one that will allow vocal support to outnumber op‐ ponents – whether it be petitions, letters or crowds at public hearings. In 2013 and beyond, expect NIMBY opposition to quarry proposals. Meeting this challenge with proven grassroots techniques will be critical to making 2013 a success for quarry companies.

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