Judge William Syler will hear arguments July 9 on Saxony Lutheran High School's petition for judicial review challenging the state mining permit issued to Strack Excavating last year. Saxony is asking the judge to reverse the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' decision and take away Strack's permit to construct a 76-acre limestone mine near Saxony Lutheran High School off County Road 601.
Both Saxony and the DNR have filed briefs with the court explaining their positions. A hearing will begin at 11:30 a.m. July 9 at the Common Pleas Courthouse in Cape Girardeau.
Saxony's attorney, Steve Jeffery, contends a new section of state statute, passed as House Bill 89 the legislature in 2011, prohibits the DNR's Land Reclamation Commission from issuing a mining permit to an applicant whose mine plan boundary is within 1,000 feet of a school. Strack's mine plan boundary is within 55 feet of Saxony's property line, therefore, the commission was prohibited from issuing the permit, Jeffery said.
Strack's permit was granted in July following an administrative hearing at which Saxony Lutheran High School presented witnesses to support its claims the mine would be detrimental to the health of its students and staff as well as the livelihood of the school. In September, the commission approved Strack's permit with the restriction that the mining plan boundary be 1,000 feet from Saxony's property line.
Jeffery argues Strack should have to resubmit its permit application with a mining plan that indicates the new boundaries.
"The commission argues that it has the authority to relocate Strack's mine plan boundary; however, we do not believe that the enabling statutes in Chapter 444 confer that authority on the commission," Jeffery said.
While the original lawsuit was between Saxony and the DNR, Strack Excavating was granted a motion to intervene in the case.
County Road 601, Jackson, MO
Saxony Lutheran High School, Jackson, Mo.