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Quarries third most unwanted projects in US

According to the 2011 Saint Index survey, which provides wide-ranging insights into what is happening in the politics of land use and real estate development, 59 per cent of American adults have said they would oppose a new aggregate quarry project in their hometown. This makes quarries the third most unwanted type of local development project in the US behind a landfill or a casino.

A local landfill project is opposed by 76 per cent of American adults, while 74 per cent said they would oppose a casino.
The Saint Index is conducted annually by The Saint Consulting Group to track and quantify the politics of land use, including who actively opposes and supports real estate projects and why. For the 2011 survey, Saint Consulting interviewed 1000 American adults.
The trends and demographics of support and opposition revealed that the most likely opponents of a quarry development are people, mainly women (aged 46 to 55 and over 65) who own their own homes, have a household income over $US100,000 a year, live in a suburban area, most likely in the Western US, and identify as liberals. The most likely supporters of a quarry are people, mainly men (aged 21 to 35), with a College-level education, who rent their own homes, earn a household income of under $US35,000 a year, live in a rural area, usually in the American Mid-West, and identify as conservative.
The new results send a clear message to quarry developers, according to Christopher M Hopkins, vice president of aggregates for The Saint Consulting Group, which conducts the annual Saint Index survey to track who opposes projects and why.
?The high level of opposition to a quarry we?ve found in six years of results shows people are inclined to believe the worst about an aggregate operation,? Hopkins said. ?That means misinformation can quickly derail a new project or expansion. Emotion-based opposition arguments will find sympathetic audiences if they go unchallenged. It is absolutely essential for aggregate developers to reach out to neighbours quickly with accurate information, then build a network of supporters.?
Opposition to a local quarry project remained unchanged from the 2010 survey at 59 per cent – and is well below the peak opposition of 76 per cent in 2007, according to The Saint Index results. Thirty-six per cent of Americans said they would support a quarry project if it were proposed in their community.
Paradoxically, though, 64 per cent of Americans in the survey said they would support Congress increasing funding for road, bridge and highway infrastructure projects.

Sources: Pit & Quarry (US), The Saint Index

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