An active approach to community relations

By |  June 1, 2016

In this industry, the best approach to community relations is an active approach to community relations. And for that reason I applaud Luck Stone’s decision to invite the public to watch a blast at its Bull Run Quarry in Loudoun County, Va.

It’s understandable that aggregate operations in the past did the best they could to keep a low profile. The “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach seems a logical one for mining companies to follow. And that continues to be the case in regards to dust control, blast-vibration reduction, landscaping that conceals, and strategic truck access.

But the wise aggregate producers are the ones who reach out to the public in other ways. Time and time again we learn valuable lessons from producers who educate school kids, donate materials to the community and offer tours to the public. Such an approach builds positive relations with citizens and legislators, making it easier to renew permits and resolve conflicts. Plus, it reminds the public why the operation is there in the first place: to provide much-needed aggregate for the growing community.

Luck Stone tells Pit & Quarry: “Our primary consideration is for the health, safety and well being of our associates and neighboring communities. We believe in taking a proactive and transparent approach to communicating about the aggregates industry, and we welcome opportunities to partner with regulatory organizations, like the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy (DMME) to educate our communities.”

Earlier this month, DMME contacted Luck Stone and asked if they would support a media invitation to view a blast at the Bull Run operation. DMME sought out Luck Stone as a model site after receiving complaints over the past two years from residents who live near various quarries in the county. By opening its operation to the public, Luck Stone could show it does everything modern technology will allow to keep down noise and vibration, and keep residents safe.

Media network WJLA in Arlington, Va., quotes Luck Stone’s Senior Blasting Technician George Feild, “We monitor all of our shots with seismographs and make sure that they stay within limits.”

And the company’s Mine Development and Blasting Manager Bryan Smith tells Pit & Quarry, “At Luck Stone, our associates are highly committed to ensuring that the work we do is respectful to those living in the communities we serve. Like DMME, we want to make community education a priority by volunteering our time, partnering with media outlets to host open-house events like these, and working alongside our neighboring communities.”

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About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at

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