Umstead State Park

DEQ fights back against ruling in favor of Wake Stone mine near Umstead State Park

BY: - September 11, 2023

Administrative Law Judge Donald Van der Vaart ignored evidence, committed logical errors and misinterpreted state law when he ruled in favor of Wake Stone, which plans to expand its Triangle quarry to abut Umstead State Park in Raleigh. Those are among the allegations included in documents filed last week by the NC Department of Environmental […]

Hearing over denial of Wake Stone’s mining permit reveals fissures within DEQ

BY: - September 28, 2022

In early February of this year, Brian Wrenn, director of the state’s Division of Energy, Minerals and Land Resources – DEMLR – visited Umstead State Park, one of the premier natural areas in the Triangle.  Wrenn and several other top DEMLR officials had assembled there at the behest of Reid Wilson, the secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which oversees the state park system. DEMLR was weighing a controversial mining permit application filed by Wake Stone to expand its existing rock quarry onto 225 acres abutting the Umstead State Park boundary. The decision, to approve or deny, was solely Wrenn’s.


New redistricting plans advance, mask mandates fall, and book banning back in the news: The week’s top stories on Policy Watch

BY: - February 18, 2022

1. In our schools: ‘Yes’ to books, science, diversity…and discomfort (Commentary) Public school book banning is back in the news. Yes, I know; it’s an amazing development in an era in which every imaginable form of explicit violence, sex, and hate speech resides just seconds away at our children’s fingertips. Research indicates that 95% of […]

DEQ denies mining permit for quarry next to Umstead State Park

BY: - February 17, 2022

This is a developing story. The NC Department of Environmental Quality has denied a mining permit for a controversial quarry next to the 5,600-acre Umstead State Park in Raleigh, citing “significantly adverse effects” from “noise, visual and truck traffic impacts” that would interfere with the park’s purpose. The proposed quarry has been contentious since 2019, […]

In 7-page letter, DEQ wants more answers about Wake Stone’s plan to mine next to Umstead State Park

BY: - July 24, 2020

The proposed Wake Stone mine in Raleigh has encountered another setback as state environmental regulators have returned the company’s application because it lacked key information. In a seven-page letter dated July 23, the NC Department of Environmental Quality asked for key data: the amount of air and noise pollution from blasting; the potential for light […]

Wake County judge temporarily halts quarry operation near Umstead Park

BY: - March 19, 2019

  There will be no hole in the ground, at least for now. Wake Stone is temporarily prohibited from starting its new quarry operation near Umstead State Park, according to an injunction granted in Wake County Superior Court. The company may conduct exploratory borings, but can’t clear trees or begin digging the pit on the […]

Umstead Park advocates ask court to declare airport lease invalid; exploratory drilling could begin this week

BY: - March 12, 2019

The Umstead Coalition, Triangle Off-Road Cyclists and three more plaintiffs filed a complaint in Wake County Court today, asking a judge to invalidate a lease between the RDU Airport Authority and Wake Stone for a quarry on 105 acres adjacent to Umstead State Park. Of the  acreage nearly half would be used for the quarry, which […]

RDU officials side with mining interests in clash over Umstead quarry

BY: - March 9, 2019

Umstead State Park in winter is at its least beautiful, but in no way is it ugly. Within the park’s palette of gray and rust appear plush pelts of moss in iridescent green and coarse crowns of lichens in dusty mint. Outcrops of ancient rocks, composed of minerals such as feldspar and quartz, are strewn across the forest floor like scattered teeth.