I am writing in response to the recent letter from Glenwood City Council Member Nancy Hover regarding the flier, sent to citizens in the mail, that addressed the proposed frac sand mine on the Teigen/Crosby property. That property could possibly be annexed into the city limits so Vista Sand Corporation could avoid the ordinance requirements from St. Croix County.
Nancy states that Vista plans on hauling 750,000 tons of sand per year. In all the presentations I’ve seen Vista states they will move 1,000,000 tons of sand per year over 8 or 9 months. If the weather allows they will work 10 months out of the year. To do the math (as Nancy did) I will also use 30 days per month (that includes the weekends), 8 months, at 25 tons per load. That becomes 166 loaded trucks, but what Nancy failed to mention is that for every loaded truck leaving the site there has to be an empty truck coming in. So it’s very easy to see that there will be somewhere between 250 and 300 trucks entering and exiting that site every day. And that’s exactly what the flier said, “an average of 288 trips per day”.
Nancy also mentions the crystalline silica, which can cause silicosis, and notes that crystalline silica is found everywhere in our natural environment. Unfortunately the blasting that will be done to open up new areas for digging will expose people to unweathered and dangerous silica that does not normally exist everywhere in our natural environment. The sand will have to go through some process in order to be sorted into its various sizes for proper use and that process will necessarily involve crushing. There will be trucks driving all over the site and those trucks will crush the sand with their wheels. So yes, crushing will be happening, and the silica dust exposed from this crushing will be blown all over the place and that’s the dangerous stuff.
At the end of Nancy’s letter she writes about the concerns of Downing residents; she states, “most of their concerns have already been addressed”. In fact we learned at the Ordinance Committee meeting on June 18th that none of the concerns of the residents of Downing had been addressed and the ordinance committee has flatly refused to allow any involvement from residents in the Village of Downing. They have also refused to accept any public comment while they create a Nonmetallic Mining Ordinance even though many citizens have expressed a great deal of concern and would very much like to have their input heard.