From: Margaret M. Walsh
Who are the players that want the Nisbit silica sand business in Saratoga Township? The operators of the Nisbit mine applied for a permit. An Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) was submitted. Trucks will haul silica sand north to Utica, down Highway 14. Citizens questioned the noise, health hazards, and traffic near schools, daycare centers, and pedestrians. Increased costs, reduced property values, reduced quality of life and public safety concerns were expressed. MN Department of Health and the Pollution Control Agency recommended collecting data via an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). People asked our county commissioners to take a good look at the facts. This is not an experiment. The silica sand business could change our lives forever.
Tom Rowekamp appears at the county board meeting, announcing he will be changing the haul route from the one in the EAW along Highway 14. The new route is I-90 to Highway 43 to Highway 61. He does this before the EIS vote. Commissioner Valentine seemed miffed to have so many calls from his constituents. He is happy the route is out of his district. He votes no EIS.
No EIS passes 3-2.
Ivie Popplewell appears at the next county board meeting, announcing the mine operation will be returning to the Highway 14 route. He does not want to do an [another] EAW with the changed haul route. Hmmmm, does the EIS no vote stand having been made with inaccurate information? Commissioner Valentine, your district is again vulnerable to excessive truck traffic.
I searched the MN Secretary of State Business listing. I checked for Rowekamp, IT Sands, Popplewell and Nisbit and found no business listed. I do know they should not be operating a silica sand business. Their permit needs to be denied. These guys are playing a carnival game.