Letter: Moratorium will buy county timeAfter the silica frac sand mining moratorium was not recommended by the Goodhue County land-use commission, many people asked how that could have happened.
By: Kathleen Bibus, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
After the silica frac sand mining moratorium was not recommended by the Goodhue County land-use commission, many people asked how that could have happened. I think some of the biggest reasons were lack of information and outcry.
I encourage citizens to learn all they can about large silica frac sand mining. There is an abundant source of information on the Internet, just google silica sand mines. For local information, visit www.everythingredwing.
com and click on sand mine. Watch Maiden Rock citizens talk about their experiences, see photos of the operations in Chippewa Falls, Wis., read about Windsor Permian, see graphics where the mines will be located. Visit the county web sites and read commission minutes.
A rumor is spreading that the moratorium would affect all 38 mines currently in Goodhue County. This is not true. The moratorium only applies to silica mining.
Currently, Goodhue County has no silica frac sand mines. The moratorium distinguishes how frac mining differs from other mines, like aggregate mines. Silica mining will have frequent explosions; no other mine does this. Silica mining will use 1.3 million gallons of water (comparable to Red Wing’s 16,000 residents’ daily usage of about 1.5 million); no other mine does this.
Frac sand mine will create silica dust, a known carcinogen. Both properties in Hay Creek and Frontenac adjoin state forest land and trout streams.
For all these reasons, more information, study and public awareness is required. The moratorium will allow this.
The current mining ordinance was created 10 years ago when the issue was aggregate mining. There is nothing in the ordinance about silica dust, frequent explosions, or large use of water.
Save the Bluffs, a group of citizens who requested the moratorium, will have a fundraiser from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to defray the costs of creating awareness, i.e. printing, filing fees, signs, advertisements. It will be at Mary Ellen and Scott Halverson’s house, 31255 Flueger Road. If you can’t attend, please send a donation to Save the Bluffs, 30915 Hay Creek Hills Drive, Red Wing.
The silica frac sand mine will affect your life. Trucks will haul sand daily. In Chippewa Falls, there are 560 trucks a day hauling sand.
Contact county commissioners and let them know citizens deserve a thoughtful and thorough moratorium to look at the impact from silica frac sand mines. On Sept. 6, commissioners will decide on the moratorium. Get involved before it’s too late.