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The so-called quarry of Abat

We refuse the quarry of l'Abat in Grande Charnie

Fifty hectares in the core of the forest are concerned by this project in Mayenne, on Torcé-Viviers territory. (this forest is classed in ZNIEFF2 zone : Ecological Interest for Animal and Plant Species Zone). The project has been registered at Laval Prefecture by the « Groupement Forestier de la Lande Ronde », the owner of 800 hectares amid 3000 h=ectares (that is the whole of the Grande Charnie) on Grande Charnie. This GFR (Regional Forest Group), represented by their director has asked in autumn 2007 for the site to be cleared and at the same time a request for massive rocks extraction in conformance with the ICPE was registed by the quarry company they have called up, the SCTH (Société des Carrières et Travaux de l'Huisne – 72 Groupe Star) for a maximum 400 000 tons annual tonnage.

 

A project which does not take into account the local residents

This project faces a strong opposition in Charnie aera, except for Torcé-Viviers which has accepted it without concern for the consequences which will affect the neighbouring municipalities. In particular Chemiré-en-Charnie in Sarthe is at risk on two counts.

 

Etival site threatened

First in its historical site of Etival remarkably preserved up to the present day. Etival lake, at only 1,5 km the influence of the quarry, was part of the Benedictine Abbey, the 900th anniversary of which we'll celebrate this year. It is mainly filles by the Pont-Hamon, a steam which has its source prior heart of the quarry and then flows through it. The water of this stream is totally pure. The lake is now the property of the Sarthe Fishing and protection of the aquatic environment Federation and their president says it is their « departmental shop window ». This federation has spent a lot of money to renovate the site and the ancient fishery of the Abbey in particular thanks to the General Councel and the European Union and is quite afraid as for the preservation of the site which it has protected for many years.

 

Another threat : the roadway system

The petitioner seems embarrassed by this question. He first asked if his lorries could use Saint Denis d'Orques roads network. But an immediate and unanimous vote prohibited any lorry traffic on the roads under their juridiction. In attempt to remove this opposition and to rally the town mayor, the petitioner made a new proposal : to cross a local road and to use departmental road 4 on Chemiré en Charnie aera. The municipal council of Chemiré en Charnie gave the same negative answer like St Denis d'Orques. As for the going out on D4 road, the matter is examined by the General Council Roads Direction. This road, very busy (it links Haute Normandie with Loire districts) is very meandering at this place and everyone knows it is dangerous.

 

The association action

We don't act only against this double threat. « Charnie Environnement » is actively involved in the Collective for the protection of the of Grande Charnie which includes two associations in Mayenne and two in Sarthe and it has already about 800 members. The struggle for the preservation of Grande Charnie forest seems for us to be emblematic of the current issues : respecting the biodiversity and the restauration of water quality which is formally recognized by the Environment Grenelle. We cannot get indignant at the clearing that has ravaged Amazonia and let mutilate our secular forest when there is already a surplus of aggregates. Now we have put forward a written argumentation to the public inquiry of Prefet of Mayenne. We have studied for months all the provisions of the ICPE regulations. With the aid of indisputable experts, we are analyzing the petitioner's file looking for the smallest mistakes. But we know the game is not won because it doesn't only depend on regulatory plans. It also works on a political level. In this regard we welcome the public position of the member of Parlement Marc Bernier and of the General councillor of St Suzanne district. We expect other elected officials of Maine who will in turn show their opposition to the quarry.

 

What is happening with the quarry

The Abat project file is now at the Prefecture of Laval where they are studying the possibilities. If the project is in keeping with the regulations in force, the Prefecture of Mayenne will decide on the opening of a public inquiry. It will last for one month. Everybody including associations, elected and private people ect will have the chance to express their opinions, in writing or in person with the Commissaire-enquèteur. A meeting for people who have joined the 4 associations of the collective was held on January 30th 2009 at Blandouet. It was an opportunity to get full information about the project and the developement of the enquiry. Another quarry project was discussed during the meeting : the Lafarge Group at St Brice-en-Mayenne wants to open another quarry situated 200 m from Bellebranche Forest. It was first refused by the Prefet of Mayenne but now a public enquiry has opened and was ending on February
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