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Our Argument

The I-80 South Quarry website features the following statement from the property owner:

As the private property owner for this project in the state of Utah, I want to be a responsible steward of this land while ensuring its highest and best use. That’s why I’ve engaged the best operator for environmental friendliness, Granite Construction, to provide a product that we all need as a community. [1]

 

Who is Granite Construction?

Granite Construction is a:

  • $3.5 billion company
  • Headquartered in California
  • Listed on the New York Stock Exchange [2]
 

What does Granite Construction’s track record tell us about its environmental friendliness?

We have found references to Granite Construction violating at least 40 federal and state environmental regulations dating back to 1992. All of these violations resulted in fines that Granite Construction was required to pay to the relevant regulatory authority. The total sum of fines connected to the 40 violations we have found so far is over $1.4 million.

The specific environmental regulations that Granite Construction violated relate to:

  • Air pollution
  • Failing to control fugitive dust
  • Hazardous waste
  • Operating without a permit
  • Violating air quality standards
  • Violating the Clean Water Act
  • Water pollution [3]
 
 

What do Granite Construction’s political contributions in Utah tell us about its regulatory strategy?

Between 2012-2017, Granite Construction regularly contributed to a variety of state officeholders and candidates.

Over the past five years, here are Granite Construction’s political contributions to state officeholders:

2018: none recorded

2019: $20,000 (all to the Critical Infrastructure Materials Coalition)

2020: none recorded

2021: none recorded

2022: $10,000 contributed (split between the Utah Republican Senate Campaign Committee and the Utah House Republican Election Committee) [4]

 

Regarding Granite Construction’s 2019 contribution:

  • The recipient (the Critical Infrastructure Materials Coalition) was formed in order to lobby state political officials on behalf of gravel pit operators. [5] In 2019, the Utah state legislature passed H.B. 288 (Critical Infrastructure Materials), which limits local regulation of gravel pit operations (among other provisions favorable to gravel pit operators). [6]

 

Regarding Granite Construction’s 2022 contribution:

  • The company has (in early 2022) been announced as the operator of the proposed Parleys Canyon gravel pit. [7]
 
 

How can we engage Granite Construction?

Public documents disclose that Granite Construction:

  • Has environmental goals including (i) conserving natural resources and (ii) protecting water, air, land, and wildlife
  • Is focused on meeting or exceeding requirements of applicable environmental laws and regulations
  • Recognizes the importance of engaging with impacted communities on environmental issues [8]

 

Granite Construction is lobbying to excavate a 634-acre gravel pit over the next 100 years in Salt Lake County’s forestry & recreation zones.

 

The purpose of these zones is to protect the natural and scenic resources of our foothill and canyon areas for the benefit of future generations.

 

What Granite Construction is lobbying to do is incompatible with:

  1. The purpose of our foothill and canyon areas
  2. Its own environmental goals

 

If Granite Construction is sincerely committed to conserving natural resources, protecting water, air, land, and wildlife, and meeting or exceeding applicable environmental regulations, then the company should withdraw from participating in this proposed project.

 

Given Granite Construction’s commitment to engaging with impacted communities on environmental issues, please urge the company’s representatives to act in accordance with its own environmental goals by withdrawing from participating in this proposed project:

 

Erin Kuhlman
VP, Marketing & Communication
erin.kuhlman@gcinc.com

Mike Barker
VP, Investor Relations
mike.barker@gcinc.com

Sources

[1] https://www.i80southquarry.com/
[2] https://www.graniteconstruction.com/company
[3] See below:

 

[4] https://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1411814

[5] https://genevarock.com/news/house-bill-288-critical-infrastructure-materials/#:~:text=To%20combat%20future%20issues%20from,check%20and%20allow%20pits%20to

[6] https://le.utah.gov/~2019/bills/static/HB0288.html

[7] https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2022/01/29/granite-construction/

[8] https://www.graniteconstruction.com/sites/default/files/inline-files/Keeping_Granite_Green-Environmental_Program_3.pdf

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