Letter: Don’t let county be an ostrichLast September Goodhue County commissioners adopted a one-year moratorium on frac sand mining. Seven of the nine members of a study committee appointed turned out to be mining advocates.
By: Winston Kaehler, Red Wing , The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Last September Goodhue County commissioners adopted a one-year moratorium on frac sand mining. Seven of the nine members of a study committee appointed turned out to be mining advocates.
Now the County Board has voted to hire (for $60,000) a consultant with ties to the seller of land for a sand mine and professional ties to the mining company planning that mine. Moreover, study committee members who had opposed the moratorium or changes in existing regulations led the committee in removing proposed limits on the consultant’s advice.
It appears that the county is using the moratorium as a stratagem to facilitate the growth of industrial sand mining and glossing over legitimate concerns about its benefits or negative effects. County officials also seem unable to differentiate between existing small sand mines and huge industrial frac sand mining operations.
Ironically, a moratorium process that has moved very slowly is now in danger of being ended too soon, based on erroneous claims that proposed state legislation would stop it.
Is Goodhue County like an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand to escape its predators? Will we be the generation that changes Goodhue County from an economy based on agriculture and tourism to one based on sand mining?