EAST ROCKHILL TWP., Pa. - Federal and state lawmakers say a quarry full of asbestos in upper Bucks County must be shut down for good.
The officials want any work at Rockhill Quarry suspended until an investigation is done and they say they'll make that clear at a rally Friday.
A congressman, a state senator and county commissioners have all come out this week denouncing any work at the quarry because they don't think the owners and operators are acting in good faith.
A video taken early Thursday by Ryan Gottshall captures Hanson Aggregates workers shoveling crushed stone into barrels to block the entrance of its property. Gottshall has lived 200 feet from Rockhill Quarry with his wife and kids in East Rockhill Township for 20 years.
"It's been brutal. It's been hard living here," Gottshall said.
Back in 2018, work at the quarry picked back up after decades when R. E. Pierson was awarded a $224 million contract to expand the Pennsylvania Turnpike. They then signed a lease with Hanson Aggregates to re-open the quarry for construction material.
However, the state DEP stopped it after asbestos was discovered.
"We don't want to find out we have cancer 40 years later caused from some mining operation that should have never been here," Gottshall said.
Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has been trying to shut the site down for years. He says all the crushing and grinding there has released asbestos into the community.
"Everyone deserves full-government transparency and protection, which is why I'm calling for an elimination of operations unless Hanson agrees to a comprehensive multi-year geological investigation by independent unbiased geologists," Fitzpatrick said in a phone interview.
We reached out to Hanson for comment but didn't hear back. A company spokesman recently told a local newspaper the company is working with the state DEP to safely operate the quarry.
"They seem to do what they want to do and they really don't care about anybody else," Gottshall said.
Gottshall says he's looked into moving but can't sell his property to anyone else in good conscience.