Letter: Yes, we need strong ordinanceI want to thank everyone who has contacted me to express their opinion on silica sand mining.
By: Ted Seifert, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I want to thank everyone who has contacted me to express their opinion on silica sand mining. Many of you have offered very sound suggestions as to how the county should respond to the mining industry. Others have expressed their fear of potential disaster if frac mining is allowed at all or if permitted; it is tightly controlled and regulated.
It would be inappropriate for a commissioner who is not a member of the mining subcommittee or the Planning Advisory Commission to take a public position prior to those bodies completing their recommendations for the County Board. I have received the draft of the proposed amended mining ordinance and I attended the public hearing. I thank the committee members and staff for the long hours and tedious work they have contributed to addressing the issue. It is clear to me that there is more work to be done.
At the County Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday Aug. 16, I will propose an extension to the moratorium so that the committee’s work can continue. I have been told by many of you, and I agree, that the county’s ordinance regulating sand mining must be strong and robust from the beginning. It would be difficult to amend mining practices once they have been grandfathered by our own ordinance.
The county ordinance will need to assure clean water and air as well as providing for the continuation of our local agriculture and tourism industries.
Ted Seifert represents Goodhue County District 5.