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Sinkholes are serious risk to water quality (05/15/2013)
From: Bonita A. Underbakke

I grew up with sinkholes, and over a lifetime have learned what they mean, and how the Rein frac sand mine proposal in Fillmore County is poorly planned regarding sinkholes.

The sinkhole was the best part of Fountain’s schoolyard in the 1950s. Maybe 40’ across and 30’ deep — it was fun every recess.

Everyone we knew had sinkholes. No good for farming, they were used as dumps for brush, burn piles, waste oil, machinery, dead animals, vehicles, and batteries, household sewage, surplus chemicals like arsenic and DDT. We didn’t know better, but we do now.

We learned how sinkholes are formed in our unique karst region. Dye studies for tracing underground rivers showed that our surface and groundwater are often the same — and vulnerable to long-term contamination through sinkholes.

We can’t take our water supply for granted. We can’t pretend that if sinkholes happen, we can simply fill them in and continue as before. Our challenge now is to protect our streams and aquifer in karst country from frac sand mining.

The Rein EAW acknowledges that mining “will increase the potential [of sinkhole formation]” but assures that “sinkholes can be easily mitigated”.

We are all responsible for a healthy, sustainable future for our young ones. Our Planning and Zoning Commission must see that strong conditions are put on the Rein permit to protect our precious water.  

 

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