Many industries have discovered the importance of environmentally-sustainable practices in recent years, but at Dolese, we can trace our green roots back more than a century.
For most of the 20th century, Roger Dolese was the visionary leader of our company, and he had a number of quirks and idiosyncrasies: He loved traveling in an old Winnebago, and he wore Converse All Stars – that he had custom made to fit his size 17 feet.
But what may be his most lasting impact is the footprint he did his best not to leave – one on the environment. He wouldn’t allow trees to be cut down unless it was absolutely necessary. Even then, they were sometimes replanted somewhere else. And he treated every part of the environment with that reverence. Today, we do the same.
We strive to approach every aspect of our business cleanly, honestly and respectfully. We deal honestly with our customers and partners, we keep our plants and trucks clean and we treat the environment and our neighbors with the utmost respect. At Dolese sand plants, each of our enormous dredges runs on clean and quiet electricity instead of diesel. That means noise is kept to a minimum and fuel spills are impossible. When we find ourselves with excess concrete, instead of discarding it, we recycle it and use it as backfill. And though we don’t do it for awards, we’ve definitely won our share.
Several years ago, when we acquired ready-mix concrete operations in Louisiana, we learned that the previous owners hadn’t shared our respect for the environment. For years, they had discharged waste concrete into the nearby wetland. So we decided to do the right thing. Although no agency required us to do so, we partnered with Arcadis and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money planting native trees and doing our best to restore it to its original state. We have since sold our operations in Louisiana. However, we were proud to leave the area better than we found it and set an example for others who follow in our footsteps.
The materials we mine, refine and distribute are vital for communities across Oklahoma. But we only can do what we do if the public allows it. So our relationships with our neighbors are very important to us, and we do all we can to minimize the impact of our operations on the landowners and communities around us. At certain facilities, we’ve done away with backup alarms on trucks and turned bright lights away from the sky. We always water down roads to keep dust under control. We minimize vibrations and disruptions from blasting in our quarries. We use electric dredges in our sand plants to keep noise down. Though we do all we can, we’re always happy to hear from our neighbors about anything more we can do. Please feel free to contact us anytime.
Fortunately for everyone, all construction materials companies are regulated by numerous local, state and federal agencies. We operate with their permission, and they closely monitor everything from air quality, water leaving our facilities and impacts to nearby sites of cultural importance, to spill prevention, water pollution and much, much more. We value these regulatory agencies, and we’re proud that they use some of our facilities to train their inspectors.
During the permitting phase of every quarry and sand plant, part of our job is to come up with an environmentally-friendly plan for the future of the site once mining is complete. This is called reclamation. Most sand plants are only active for a few decades before being returned to a landowner or community as a fishing pond, recreational area or park. For example, OKC’s Dolese Youth Park was once a sand plant. Aggregate quarries have a much longer lifespan – often measured in hundreds of years – but once reclaimed they can become stunningly clean and clear watershed lakes. Today, the site of Dolese’s first quarry, Big Canyon, is undergoing its own reclamation.
If you have any ideas about how to improve our environmental impact, if you happen to notice something that doesn’t seem right or if you’re unhappy with us or our operations for any reason, we want to hear from you. Please contact us anytime.