Dorchester Co. residents concerned about early-morning sand mine timbering

Dorchester County News

Some residents in Dorchester County are concerned about a sand mining project that they say is sometimes waking them up very early in the morning.

Homeowners in the Breezeway community, located south and west of Ridgeville, reached out to News 2 after they were awakened by crews clearing trees as early 4 a.m. over the past two weeks. The timbering is underway so that sand mining can begin at the site – called Pringle Mine, near Zion Road.

“It was a very high-pitched whine that I could hear inside my house,” said resident Jan Turner. “Once I opened my door, without even stepping outside the house, of course the noise became louder and louder and louder, there’s no way to sleep or do anything once this noise starts.”

Residents are concerned that regulations and noise ordinances are being violated when the timbering is happening.

“They’re not supposed to start operation before, I believe it’s 7 a.m.” said Turner.

Dorchester County officials said that the hours of operation for the sand mine are indeed limited – from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and on some Saturdays, but that restriction is only for mining which has not started yet.

Officials also said that the timbering stopped after Wednesday morning and do not know when it will occur again.

Residents have also asked if any noise ordinance violations have occurred while the timbering is happening.

The county provided the following statement/information to News 2 regarding the Pringle Mine:

“The County has contacted project representatives about the hours of operation and provided a copy of the noise ordinance. If the noise occurs again and exceeds the decibel levels set by ordinance a ticket can be issued. If we receive notice that operations may be exceeding allowed noise levels during set hours we will conduct an inspection of the site, take noise measurements, and issue a ticket if warranted.”

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