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home : opinions : letters to the editor   May 24, 2016

11/19/2013 1:52:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Utica community has responsibility to stop frac sand operation

On Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., the Utica Village Board will vote on a frac sand mine operation in Waltham Township. If approved, that will make four frac sand mines within a few miles of Utica.

Utica recently approved a frac sand mine on the Osage Curves, overriding the recommendations of their own Village Planning Commission. Things have not been the same around here since.

Silica sand mines have a profound effect on rural communities. The crystalline silica sand dust they produce is a known cancer causing agent. Water use is a big concern. One silica sand mine can use 400,000 to two million gallons of water in a day. 

Perhaps the most negative effect of frac sand mining is the one you can’t see, but you can surely feel. That’s the damage they do to communities. People who were friends for years no longer speak. Neighbors lose trust in one another.

Businesses suffer because people who have to put up with the mine don’t come downtown anymore.

I have a neighborly reminder for Utica Board members as they contemplate their vote on Nov. 20. The borders of Utica don’t end at the train tracks on Route 178.

Utica is not just a village. Utica is a community. The people who live up north in Waltham have been part of this community for years. They come downtown to dine and shop. They volunteer at Burgoo. They support the library, the fire district and the ambulance service.

The Utica Community worships together. The kids go to school together. And when a tragedy like the 2004 tornado strikes, the community pulls together for the common good.

I ask the Utica Village Board to think about these things. Let’s work together like we have in the past, and do what is in the best interest of all the Utica community.

I urge Utica and Waltham residents to attend the Wednesday, Nov. 20 Planning Commission meeting at 6 p.m. at Grand Bear Lodge. Speak up with your opinions and concerns about the frac sand mine. That’s your responsibility as members of the Utica community. See you there.

Mary Whipple,

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Article comment by: MotherEarthSpeaks

And tonight, and every night in honor of the gifts of nourishing land and water that we are freely given, and wisely caretake.

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Article comment by: MotherEarthSpeaks

Know that a prayer request has been made to the 13 International Indigenous Grandmothers to join us in the preservation and maintenance of local lands, and the return to pristine condition of the environment that surrounds us and lays beneath our feet, and above our heads.
Thousands of souls will be united with us this evening, present in the physical, or not, to create the energies for the right use of our nature.

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