Mine is like a John Grisham Novel
There’s a sand mine issue in the Chippewa Valley that reminds me of a John Grisham novel. You know, big corporation moves into small town, people all excited because of new jobs and lower taxes. Then people start dropping like flies from cancer, their water table is polluted, as is the land, and lower taxes turn into zero property values. They fight the corporation with their own home-grown lawyer, but their win turns into an appeal, and the already bankrupted and beleaguered little guys have no more money or energy to keep going.
Yes, this is fiction, but how far from the truth is it? International Oil and Mining interests are trying to get a strong foothold in our area by offering huge sums of money to land owners in order to create silica sand mines and by promising between 22 to 50 jobs plus added revenue to our tax base. ( Silica sand, also known as frac sand or proppant, is used in oil drilling and also to create a synthetic oil.)
This is what they want us to believe: that hitting the water table in not “supposed” to happen, and that they “see” no possibility of problems with mercury, lead or arsenic. (I guess that means that if they don’t see it, that’s OK.) Here’s the best one yet: according to The Chippewa Herald, “they’re not sure whether the silica dust is a danger to the general public or just the workers.” (Does that mean that the general public doesn’t count?) Silica effects on general public have not been extensively studied. Environmental Air Quality Standards provide The Mining Industry with many exemptions so we can’t even know the full impact.
This is what we do know:
>We will pay higher taxes to repair the roads that they damage.
>Despite getting a $1.75 million loan (bond), Canadian Sand and Proppants won’t contribute one Penny to our tax base for 6.5 years, because their taxes will be given back to them to build their infrastructure. In the mean time, who pays for our lost home values?
>The cancer -causing silica dust from the mines, and from the gigantic piles outside the refinery that will be built in Chippewa Falls, can travel over 100 miles.
> The 500 semi trucks will emit toxic fumes that are the cause of 70-89% of cancer caused by air pollution in the US.
>Light and smog pollution from atop the five obtrusive, belching and blinking smokestacks will be a constant reminder that we now live in a mining town.
>Our hills will be flattened, our landscape changed.
And for what reason?
>Why are we pursuing 20th century industrialization at a time when our earth is in danger, and green technology will be the future? After all, aren’t we the home of Seymour Cray’s forward and innovative thinking? I wonder if he would approve of becoming a heavy industrial town?
>Why are we bringing in a company that will hire so few people and cost the county so much?
This is the time for all of us little guys to rise up and let our voices be heard. It is an infringement on our way of life that may bring cancer-causing pollutants, traffic congestion, noise, and much more that we never bargained for in the Chippewa Valley. How about standing up to this Goliath. David was a little guy, too, but he was remembered as a hero who saved his people. You can do the same. For many more facts, pictures, and examples of other towns who already have the mines, go towww.concernedchippewacitizens.com We will be shocked at how close we could be to that John Grisham novel.