ARLEE, Mont. - A gravel pit is expected to be put in about a quarter mile from the Garden of One thousand Buddhas.

The project will stretch over 160 acres and contain a rock crusher and a mobile asphalt plant. The plant will dig 12 feet below the sprinkler line, which has people concerned about if or how this will affect their groundwater, as levels fluctuate throughout the year.

Many residents are concerned with water pollution, dust, traffic, smell and noise.

Long-time Arlee resident, Jennifer Knoetgen, says the sound of traffic and a rock crusher were what came to mind when she received her letter about the pit.

"It was sort of gut-wrenching just to think that something that big was going to happen so close by," said Knoetgen. "I would just like other Montanans to know that this isn't just an Arlee issue, it isn't just a local neighborhood issue. This is something that is happening across the state."

Residents within a half mile of the project received letters and were given 30 days to respond and create a plan on what to do. We reached out to project managers for the pit but have yet to hear back. The permit for the gravel pit has not been approved but should anticipate an answer in the coming weeks.

Originally published on montanarightnow.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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