Letter: Silica mining requires special categoryThe mining study committee report has taken all sand mines, including potential frac sand mines, and lumped them all together under the title of “mineral extraction facilities.” In other words, sand is sand.
By: Michelle Meyer, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
The mining study committee report has taken all sand mines, including potential frac sand mines, and lumped them all together under the title of “mineral extraction facilities.” In other words, sand is sand.
If sand is sand, why does the state of Minnesota call frac sand a hazardous substance? Why does the International Agency for Research on Cancer call frac sand a cancer-causing substance?
Because crystalline silica, or frac sand, is sharp and small enough to be breathed deep into our lungs, settle in and never dissolve or leave. It’s more harmful to lung tissue than coal dust and our bluffs bear high concentrations of it.
Now we in Goodhue County risk exposure to this deadly dust, but by using the title of “mineral extraction facility” frac sand is just sand.
Is there anyone out there who hasn’t had a friend or loved one stricken with cancer? Is there anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to add more risk to an already dirty mix?
Frac sand isn’t just any old sand and the mining study report is grossly negligent.
Our moratorium was put in place to determine whether or not the county ordinance is strong enough to regulate frac sand mining. But how can that question be answered if frac sand mining is not even assigned a category?
Communities all across the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin are fighting against frac sand mining.
Informational websites have been developed and thousands of people are spending countless hours compiling data, offering personal testimonials, pleading with their governments to protect our communities against frac sand hazards, wondering if inviting cancer-causing jobs to our counties is the best we can do. Why is this happening if nothing is wrong? If sand is sand?
Because there is something wrong. Warm fuzzy mining stories have yet to make national news because there are none.
By failing to assign frac sand mining a category of its own, the report also fails to offer the county the option to say no to a damaging industry.
I want that option.