The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 20, 2013

Citizens offered jobs, promises while resources are being co-opted

Tuesday night, the Lime Township Board met with agents of Jordan Sands/Coughlan Industries to present information to the public. Listeners were informed about measures being put into place to minimize risk to air and water from the planned frac sand mining operation.

Mankato City Council has also been involved in developing a Conditional Use Permit regarding air and water resources. Area residents were told to trust Jordan Sands safety measures. We were told the one to three billion gallons of water to be used annually would not have an impact on water purity or availability. We were told that area wells that fail due to Jordan Sands water use would be replaced at Jordan Sands’ expense — assuming the well owner could prove that the failure was caused by the mining operation.

As a listener I felt we were hearing another robber baron tale, where citizens are offered jobs and promises, while their resources were being co-opted to profit a few.

What surprises me most in this process is how little information there has been about it in the media. There has been little public outcry, other than a few local residents who regret their position of powerlessness. City officials apparently favor industry and jobs over the safety, preferences and property values of area residents. And the exposure of an entire aquifer to predation? We will pass that risk on to our children, along with the 2.5 micron silica dust in the air.

Thanks, Bob Coughlan.

Mark Traxler




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