By Dave Raasch, Kasota
In both testimonies before state Legislature committee hearings, Scott Susacek, CEO of Jordan Sands, proclaimed that their new company was a "small player" in this industry. Their permit request identifies 70 acres of proposed mining operation.
In a written response to the Lime Township Board's request for comments on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet on this project, a major competitor of Jordan Sands questions the business wisdom of building a $45 million processing plant for such a small reserve of silica. They also point out that Coughlan Quarries LLC, an affiliate of Jordan Sands, owns at least 154 acres of potential sand reserves and is actively pursuing the purchase of more land.
Is Jordan Sands trying to fly under the "regulatory radar" to get a foothold in this area and then explosively expand? This is the same business plan that has been effective in western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota. It is the type of activity that has prompted Sen. Matt Schmit of Red Wing to introduce legislation that will establish a statewide moratorium to allow us in his words, "get this right before it is too late."
Please, let your representatives know that they need to support this legislation to protect the quality of life (air and water), and beauty of our area and the whole Minnesota River Valley.
We do not wish, in 20-30 years to look like a post coal West Virginia or Pennsylvania. Do you want to look at or live near a landscape that is permanently scared and suffer from a post boom economy?
Minnesota can do better than that.