Issues — in general

Here’s an overview of the concerns that have been raised about frac sand mining.  We’ll glue this to the front page, update it as we go and write more-detailed posts on specific topics.  But here’s a list to summarize things;

  • Community — The old quote “if we don’t hang together, we’ll hang separately” comes to mind.  Will trusted leaders emerge to get us through this?
  • Economic development — Who is thinking through the tradeoff between new jobs versus old, short-term jobs versus long-term ones, money that stays in the region versus fortunes made elsewhere at our expense?
  • Environmental — Is anybody keeping an eye on air emissions and pollution, impact on groundwater, loss of natural and agricultural land, impact on forest projects, nuisance noise and dust, etc.?
  • Health — Who’s minding the impacts of silica dust in the air and processing-plant chemicals in water supplies?
  • Infrastructure — Who will pay for road repairs and will those commitments be honored?
  • Leadership — Town and County officials are used to deciding issues like where to site a farmer’s barn.  Are they ready to handle the onslaught of a sophisticated billion-dollar industry?
  • Prices — Are local sand-producers getting a fair prices for their sand, or are they getting ripped off too — by slick mining-company representatives?  Do you know what that sand is worth?
  • Property values — Who’s keeping an eye out for the innocent bystanders who can’t escape the blight because their savings are tied up in nearby land?
  • Regional development — This isn’t a one-county conversation or even a one-state conversation.  Who’s reaching out to make sure that one unprepared county doesn’t become the easy “target of opportunity”?
  • Restoration — How does the land get repaired once the sand is gone and designed-to-disappear local mining-companies have vanished?
  • Road Safety — What’s the impact of 100’s or even 1000’s of heavy trucks (on a tight schedule) running across our sub-par roads?  Who’s going to be accountable when a schoolbus full of kids gets in an accident with a runaway sand truck on one of our dugway roads?
  • Transparency — Who is publishing good, fair, accurate, non-confrontational information about what’s going on?  Is “good information” going to be available only for the insiders at the expense of all others?  Rumors breed in the dark.
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