Peckham Materials Corp. in Pleasant Valley, NY
In 1937, John Arborio, an Italian immigrant in search of his American dream to build a construction company, came to Dutchess County and founded the Dutchess Quarry and Supply Company. In 1937, the land where the quarry currently sits today was purchased and quarry operations began. Through determination and hard work of the Arborio family and their members, the quarry grew into what it is today. Since 2012, Peckham has been investing in the operation, upgrading facilities, utilizing new equipment and technology, along with enhancing the “face” of the quarry that the community sees when passing the entranceway on North Avenue.
Our rock is perfectly suited to be crushed and sized for a wide variety of uses, helping to build:
- Roads and bridges
- Foundations and all types of building construction
- Erosion control along riverways and wetlands
- Asphalt pavement and highways
- Ready-mix concrete products, producing everything from sidewalks to buildings
A diverse team is involved in both the technical support, as well as the day-to-day operations at the quarry. Many of the members are residents of the Pleasant Valley community and have raised their families here. It is very common at Peckham to see several generations of families working for our company. Geologists, environmental managers, equipment operators, professional blasters—all come together to ensure the operations run safely and smoothly. Also, importantly, we are proud of the Veterans in our workforce that have joined Peckham after serving our country.
The quarry has been an integral part of the community over the years. A beautification effort began several years ago alongside North Avenue, and included the rebuilding and upgrading of the quarry office. This effort also created a landscaped berm to create a safety barrier along the roadway. In addition, Peckham donates and partners with various local organizations, including the Pleasant Valley Fire Department. In 2018 when a fire broke out in the local library, the Peckham Family Foundation made a significant donation allowing the plans to rebuild the library to not only proceed—but grow beyond the community’s expectations. As part of their involvement, the library received over a dozen new computers, an increase in books, and an overall larger community center. In recognition of their generosity, the Pleasant Valley Library named their new community room the Peckham Family Foundation Community Room. The Peckham Way enshrines the company’s century-long belief that “Our Word is Our Bond,” and we are committed to giving back to the Pleasant Valley Community.
At Peckham, we have an environmental commitment that centers around our love of the outdoors. We care about the environment around us and strive to minimize our impact. Since 2012, the quarrying operations have increased water recycling dramatically through better operating practices, new equipment and new technologies. Systems are in place to recycle as much water as possible while still providing the necessary resources to keep dust to a minimum on internal roadways and on stockpiles. A road-sweeper and water truck operate several times per day to assure adjacent roadways are free of dust and debris. We also take great pride in our wetlands that are home to a wide variety of aquatic life and play an important role in providing habitat for migratory birds. Click here to learn more about Peckham’s commitment to sustainability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Neighbors and residents have asked some questions that we can and should address regarding the Pleasant Valley operations.
What agencies regulate the activities on site?
In addition to being regulated by the Town of Pleasant Valley zoning regulations, we are regulated and inspected by the following agencies: New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and New York State Dept. of Transportation (NYSDOT).
Has blasting caused damage to any neighboring homes or structures?
Peckham has never had a blast that resulted in any type of damage to a neighboring home.
How many employees currently work at the site?
There are currently on average 45 employees working at the facility. Most employees are union positions. Currently, our workforce includes 29 Dutchess County residents of whom 14 are Pleasant Valley residents.
Why is the quarry needed?
Quarry products, known as aggregate or crushed stone and sand, provide the basis for our national and local transportation network – roads, railways, and airports along with our water and sewage systems. Aggregate is an essential component used in the construction of homes, schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. Therefore, quarries underpin an area’s ongoing development, maintenance, and play a vital role in the local economy.
Of every road and street around you, more than 90% of a road is aggregate., while 80% of concrete used in your home is also aggregate.
In addition to providing aggregate, the facility provides tax income to the town and county, well-paying jobs, support to the local economy in terms of purchasing goods and services offered by local suppliers, and provide support to a large number of local businesses.
What improvements or investments has Peckham done at the location and will these improvements affect the town and residents?
Before Peckham – the quarry mobile equipment: loaders and haul trucks were from the 1970s and 1980s that were extremely noisy and inefficient as they traveled through the quarry.
After Peckham – All quarry mobile equipment has been replaced with the latest, low emission, low decibel, and fuel-efficient mobile equipment – the “oldest” unit utilized in the operation is the model year 2013.
Before Peckham – The facility regularly operated 2 hot mix asphalt plants daily – resulting in double the number of air emissions, noise, etc. for the site.
After Peckham – Making strategic modifications and investments to one of the facilities has enabled Peckham to maximize efficiency resulting in the removal of the secondary hot mix asphalt plant.
Before Peckham – The facility used three 3 hot-mix asphalt storage silos that had to be filled very early in the morning to meet daily production needs.
After Peckham – We installed three 3 state-of-the-art storage silos that are heated, allowing hot mix asphalt to be manufactured during normal business hours to help eliminate most early morning plant startups.
Before Peckham – The hot-mix asphalt plant ran on #2 fuel oil as its primary source of fuel.
After Peckham – We installed a one-mile-long natural gas line from Sherow Road to our facility – solely at our expense. This gas line allows the hot-mix asphalt plant to operate significantly more efficiently and with considerably lower air emissions compared to using #2 fuel oil. The natural gas service is available to the residents that live on North Avenue, between Sherow Rd and the quarry’s metering station if they elect to utilize natural gas for their homes.
Before Peckham – The previous owners did not promote or utilize any recycled materials.
After Peckham – We made modifications to the HMA plant to allow for the use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). HMA is the most recycled material in the country. RAP usage significantly reduces raw material (stone and asphalt) consumption and provides a significant environmental benefit by keeping these materials out of landfills.
Before Peckham – Customers historically used fuel oil in their delivery truck bodies as a release agent prior to loading HMA.
After Peckham – We installed a soap rack to allow our customers to spray an environmentally approved asphalt release agent in their truck bodies eliminating the use of fuel oil.
Why do you need to blast in the quarry and how is it done?
Blasting is a safe, precise and controlled process used to extract rock from the ground. A blast typically lasts less than one second. During the construction season, blasting is done 1 or 2 times a week depending upon the demand for aggregate. Blasting is performed by a third party, Maine Drilling and Blasting, a company with more than 50 years of experience operating throughout the East Coast.
In order to ensure off-site blast vibrations are kept to a minimum, we hire another third party, Vibra-Tech, a company with more than 70 years of experience throughout the country, and known as an industry leader in the blast-vibration analysis. Typical blasts are measured by no less than 5 seismographs, strategically located around the neighborhood to record ground vibration and air overpressure (sound). Vibration and air overpressure are measured to make sure all blasts are in strict compliance with NYSDEC permit conditions to prevent damage to neighboring properties.
Peckham is constantly reviewing it’s performance in terms of our impact to the community. Our blasting contractor only uses state-of-the-art blasting practices. This includes the use of electronic detonators which allows for incredibly precise “delays” in the detonations between holes. This method reduces the frequency of the vibration to the surrounding area.
Our NYSDEC mine permit limits blasting hours from 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, and we typically blast around 1PM. We maintain a list of neighbors to be notified prior to all blasts. Any neighbor wishing to be added to the notification list should contact the quarry (845)635-2174.
There are tanks on-site that store petroleum-based products – what measures does Peckham take to ensure petroleum products stored don’t leak and contaminate groundwater?
All petroleum-based products stored on-site are in aboveground steel tanks with concrete or steel secondary containment. Tanks are installed, maintained, registered, and inspected per EPA and NYSDEC spill prevention regulations, and are inspected periodically by both NYSDEC and EPA to ensure compliance.
No petroleum-based products are stored within the quarry excavation area. The storage equipment used in the quarry has all been purchased new since 2014 and all units are maintained and monitored to prevent any type of leak.
Some neighbors have noticed stone and dust around our entrance on North Ave, why?
At times, trucks leaving our facility may track dust out onto our entrance road or spill stone because their drivers have not properly secured their truck tailgate. In order to address these issues, Peckham has contacted the Dutchess County Department of Public Works (DCDPW) and has been granted permission to utilize a street sweeper on North Avenue. Peckham has both contracted with a local street sweeping company and recently purchased its own street sweeper to clean all pavement surfaces on a regular ongoing basis in order to keep our entrance and North Ave clean. Peckham also owns and operates a large water truck with a street flusher system that operates continuously throughout the day, designed to “wash” the pavement.
What happens if my well or other wells are affected by the blasting?
Peckham has never had a blast, or other activity, that was found to affect any neighbor’s well. If a well were to be found to be affected by quarrying activities, it would be Peckham’s responsibility to cover all costs associated to install a new well. This is an NYSDEC permit condition on all mining permits.
Another NYSDEC common mine permit condition requires Peckham to have 15 monitoring wells located on and around the entire quarry property. The purpose of these wells is specifically to identify “if” quarrying activities are affecting the level of groundwater in close proximity to the quarry property. These monitoring wells are measured on a monthly basis to ensure that our quarry activities are not affecting surrounding groundwater levels and all measurement data is submitted to, and reviewed by, NYSDEC.
Some neighbors have mentioned that the site operations are now occurring on a "24-hour basis."
The quarry operations, including the stone crushing plant, typically run from 6AM to 6PM. However, during the peak of the construction season the stone crushing plant may run until 8PM.
At times the hot mix asphalt plant “HMA”, (note: also known as a blacktop plant) and the concrete plant, which is leased to Bonded Concrete, will run outside the hours of 6 AM to 6 PM to service special projects such as:
- NYS Dept. of Transportation projects required to be done at night as not to disrupt the flow of daytime traffic and impede the traveling public (note: this was the case this year when Route 44 was paved at night to alleviate traffic issues).
- If the DOT, towns, or the county need a large daily supply of HMA, operations will start a few hours early to fill our storage silos (note: the installation of our new silos has greatly reduced the number of early start-ups).
- Bonded Concrete may supply concrete to projects that need to be done in off-hours (note: this was the case for the recent expansion of Vassar Hospital and the NYC Water Tunnel project that runs under the Hudson River)