To the three members of the Waupaca County Planning/Zoning Committee who voted “Yes” to approve a heavy industrial silica sand mine in the town of Union: What were you thinking? Where was your moral compass?
Did you, as representatives elected to protect the residents of Waupaca County, consider the heavy impact and cost, any of the following, this mine will inflict on our community?
• Perpetual noise and silica dust (a known cancer causing carcinogen); on-site rock crushing, grinding and washing; heavy truck traffic – coming and going 24/7; plummeting property values; road deterioration with upkeep paid for by the taxpayer; heavy diesel fumes; blasting 30-40 feet below the water table; private wells and groundwater threatened by contamination and heavy drawdown.
• Gelhar Mining’s hydrologist, quote: “We’re not going to lie to you; it will pull the water table down.”
• Destruction of the sandstone in the hill that filters our groundwater; flocculants/chemicals used to clean the sand.
• Huge settling ponds with only a sand bottom and no clay liner to conserve our precious water resource.
• Wastewater released into our waterways, threatening fish and sporting tourism on the Little Wolf.
• Negative impact on health, safety and environment.
• Almost no DNR oversight. They are understaffed and overburdened.
• The wooded hills and pristine landscape will no longer resemble what they are today.
• Huge berms constructed from topsoil, mixed with rock and waste material and large open pits, behind the berms, will be the visual that will replace what is now one of the most scenic landscapes of Waupaca County – including Tellock Woods Natural Area).
• Hundreds of acres of top farmland taken out of productivity and replaced with buried industrial waste and will not be productive for at least 500 years.
What will this township and surrounding area look like when the mine has depleted the resources and moved on?
Will our children, grandchildren or future generations choose to remain in a heavily compromised landscape?
Jack Penney, Terence Murphy and DuWayne Federwitz: Your June 6th, “Yes” vote has now opened the floodgates for frac sand mining in Waupaca County.