The Frederick County Board of Supervisors recently approved an application by Carmeuse Americas to allow for a 400-acre expansion rezoning of its existing High Calcium Limestone quarry located in the Clear Brook area of Northern Frederick County, east of Interstate 81. Frederick County is blessed by having very high-quality underground seams of Limestone enriched with Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) that were embedded into sedimentary rock created during the Cambrian Period when oceanic waters inundated what is now Frederick County, Virginia. Carmeuse is one of the largest producers of Limestone products in the world and operates a global network of 80 plants and 50 limestone quarries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. With its global headquarters located in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Carmeuse Group has approximately 4,500 employees and serves over 8,500 customers globally.
Approval of this application will protect this nonrenewable resource for productive economic use. High Calcium Limestone is used throughout the mid-Atlantic region for fertilizer, building materials, animal feed, cement production, water treatment, and steel manufacturing. It is also a strategic mineral that supports America’s defense initiatives. One regional business provided public hearing testimony that High Calcium Limestone from Carmeuse America’s Frederick County quarry allows for most eggs sold in grocery stores in our region to have strong shells allowing for them to go to market without breaking. According to a fiscal impact report issued by Chmura Economics & Analytics, approval of the Carmeuse EM (Extractive Manufacturing) rezoning will provide app. $45.6 million in local tax revenues to Frederick County over the course of the next 30 years.
Over the course of a year-long rezoning process, Carmeuse worked with Frederick County to develop one of the strongest proffer packages ever offered on an industrial rezoning application in the county that includes:
- A $1.75 million cash donation toward the improvements of the Brucetown Rd. / Rt. 11 / Hopewell Rd. intersection
- Purchase and dedication of two parcels of land necessary for the alignment of that intersection improvement
- Donation of 30,000 tons of aggregate (currently valued at approximately $450,000) toward the improvement of that intersection
As a part of its proffered commitments, Carmeuse will also reduce the height of its stockpile visible from Rt. 11 and the Frederick County Fairgrounds, provide over $1.5 million to fund Frederick County capital facilities in the vicinity, and install impact-mitigation and wellhead protection measures far in excess of minimum requirements in Virginia mine permit regulations.
Carmeuse will also continue and expand its partnership with Frederick County allowing for its quarry pits to become potable water reservoirs to provide drinking water resources for Frederick County citizens for centuries to come.