State supports plan to build dolomite quarry in Põhja-Sakala Municipality ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Quarry. Photo is illustrative.
Quarry. Photo is illustrative. Source: Viirika Mastik

Last November, Põhjala-Sakala Municipality inquired from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications whether the state would be interested in the establishment of a quarry in the Viljandi County municipality. The ministry has now confirmed that the establishment of a dolomite quarry in Arussaare.

Põhja-Sakala Deputy Municipal Mayor Jaanus Rahula sent the economic affairs ministry a letter last fall in which he highlighted that the Environment Agency has been processing a permit application for the mining of a dolomite quarry in Arussaare submitted by OÜ Metsasaadused since 2010.

The report on the environmental impact assessment should soon be complete, which is why the municipality wanted to know if the state had an interest in it from a security of supply perspective.

The ministry most recently commented on the quarry in 2017, when it found that the establishment thereof would be in the state's interests. Since the nearby Rõstla and Otisaare quarries have since been significantly expanded, however, the municipality wanted to reaffirm the state's interest in the new quarry, assuming that mining for mineral resources in Arussaare may no longer fit the interests of the state.

Deputy Secretary General for Energy Timo Tatar sent a response to Põhja-Sakala municipal government on Wednesday in which he stated that unlike the 2017 plan to expand Tallinn-Tartu Highway between Mäo and Tartu to a three-lane (2+1) road, the state highway road management plan bill for the years 2021-2030, which calls for the highway to be expanded to four lanes (2+2) will require at least double the amount of gravel.

Namely, an estimated 450,000 cubic meters of gravel would be necessary for the 2+1 road, but a total of 950,000 cubic meters will be required for a 2+2 road. The expansion of Tallinn-Tartu Highway into a four-lane road has been included in the government action plan for 2019-2023.

"The Road Administration estimates that the expansions of the Otisaare and Rõstla quarries do not substitute the need for quality material in the construction of the expanded Tartu Highway and other facilities in the region," Tatar wrote. "Thus we are reaffirming that the establishment of the dolomite quarry in Arussaare remains necessary and continues to fit the interests of the state."

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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