Our stunning Upper Rhône valley hosts English-speaking residents as well as visitors from all over the world. This page is for you – so you may know what the AIHR is fighting and why and to help you help us in any way you can preserve this unique and privileged environment.
The Association Interdépartementale du Haut Rhône (AIHR) is a French-registered non-profit association created in February 2017 to strive to stop two industrial projects that would forever affect the area’s identity and environment.
Quarry in Anglefort (01)
Only 5 out of the 12 villages directly affected by the open-air quarry project in Anglefort (SAS Carrières de St Cyr) were informed, and quite tardily so. The public enquiry few heard about ran during the end-of-year holidays, from 12 December 2016 to 13 January 2017.
The contract would be for 30 years renewable and represent a production of 200 to 300,000 tons of aggregate per year. The site itself, bordering several environmentally-protected zones, covers over 45 acres with the height of the quarry three times that of the Arc de Triomphe.
The impacts are patent and include: pollution (water, air, noise, visual), destruction of listed flora and fauna, and health & safety risks (26% uptick in truck traffic on departmental roads for example). Moreover, the area’s economic development would take a serious hit as much has been invested to promote “green” industries and tourism – our main source of jobs and revenues.
We’ve acted swiftly to mobilize everyone, get press coverage, and put pressure on those administrations involved in granting the final authorizations for work to start in September 2017: petitions, public information sessions, distributing flyers, holding a protest march, and submitting a well-documented report in opposition to the quarry. The fight continues as we wait for the Prefect of the Ain department to issue his decree.
If the Prefect authorizes the quarry, we shall take the case to the Administrative Tribunal.
An asphalt plant?
Concurrently to learning about the possible quarry in Anglefort, we learned that an asphalt plant in Seyssel (74) was in the pipeline. The same plant that was successfully blocked in Villaz. The connection between the quarry and the asphalt plant is obvious, aggregate being a key component in asphalt and that must be sourced close to the production site. There is also overlap in the two projects’ main stakeholders. The health risks and environmental impact of asphalt plants are so well-documented, we need not go into detail here.
Luckily, we learned about this upstream, yet that doesn’t mean it will be easy to block.
The first and necessary step is to prevent the quarry.
Please help us save this pristine valley you all love too before it is turned into an industrial wasteland.