Chairman Twidt and County Board Supervisors,
As a group of Buffalo County citizens concerned about the impact of nonmetallic mining and & operations in our county, the Buffalo County Defenders would like to express appreciation for the recent passing of Ordinance 2012-10 – 02, Extension of the Nonmetallic Mining Ordinance Moratorium, by the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors.
However, we are concerned that the County will reach the end of this extended moratorium and still not be prepared to manage and administer the impending silica sand industrial mining impacts on our county.
We request that a Moratorium Status Update be added to the agenda of each regularly scheduled meeting of the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors throughout the extended moratorium period.
We request that a Moratorium State Update be added to the agenda of each regularly scheduled meeting of the Zoning Committee, Health and Human Services Committee, Highway Committee and Agriculture Extension-Economic Development Committee.
We request, as an item of the County Board of Supervisors monthly meeting agenda, that the Supervisors inquire about progress concerning silica sand mining and operations during the extended moratorium period to include:
- Conformation that the Zoning Committee is meeting on a regularly scheduled basis throughout the extended moratorium (they did not meet from March 15th through July 17th during the initial moratorium period)
- Specific actions taken by the Zoning Committee in developing and revising conditional use permit applications, as well as monitoring and inspection processes and procedures for developing mining, process and transfer operations
- Status report of current silica sand mining operations within Buffalo County
- Status report of joint work efforts between the Buffalo County departments (e.g. joint meetings between Health and Human Services and Zoning, Highway and UW-Extension, and Land Resources Departments) especially regarding unanswered questions about monitoring of air and water quality
- Communication and confirmation of any other expectations set by the County Board of Supervisors for these committees to achieve, especially the Zoning Committee (e.g. developing a Comprehensive Land Use Plan and a Comprehensive Non-metallic Mining Zoning Ordinance)
Citizens have been advised by several County Board Supervisors to continue to attend county meetings, to participate in public hearing processses and to talk directly with the County through public comment opportunities. We urge you to facilitate this public participation and transparency by improving public notice, continuing to welcome public input and to create ways to invite the public into the process via citizen advisory groups.
Buffalo County Defenders