Mining vs. the river
I am a resident of Soldiers Grove who spends many of my weekends on the Wisconsin River. From Spring Green to Bridgeport, I have taken my children on this beautiful river. We observed eagles, otters, turtles, snakes, and of course fish. In short, my children received the best environmental education that one can ask for on the Lower Wisconsin.
Allowing industrial frac sand mining along this river that has been entrusted to you to protect does not make sense. Surely, you are not just looking out for the rights of a very few landowners who want to sell or lease land for industrial mining? You must realize many other landowners live and vacation along the river because of its beauty. I also know you must be aware of the steady growth in kayaking and other tourism.
Please postpone accepting frac sand mining until more research can be done on what effects it will have on the environment and residents of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. I am asking you to consider whether frac sand mining will be good for ALL the residents of the LWRW.
I understand that a public hearing is scheduled for today at 6 p.m. concerning the 191 Acre Frac Sand Mining Proposal in the Town of Bridgeport, at the Bridgeport Town Hall, on Wisconsin 60 near the golf course, just south of Prairie du Chien.
I haven’t as yet seen the Conditional Use Permit that is necessary for this proposal to go ahead, but look forward to reading the information and attending the public hearing. If you would like to read the proposal, a copy of the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) can be obtained from town clerk Linda Smrcina, 608-326-2385. Township chair is John Karnopp, 608-326-6908.
Because the proposed frac sand mine site is zoned agricultural, a conditional use permit is required from the township. In a CUP, the township has the authority to set requirements they deem necessary to balance the applicant’s interests with those of the citizens, including health and safety and economic concerns such as tourism.
Suggestions of what to include in a CUP:
• Could limit hours of operation, perhaps to 14 hours, five days a week.
• Dust mitigation, perhaps to include washing trucks before leaving the mine site.
• Limiting or eliminating night lighting for the Lower Wisconsin Riverway and neighbors.
• Consider limiting number of trucks per day.
• Seasonal/specific date limitations possible.
• Possible financial reimbursements for the township’s independent legal and scientific review.
• Year (or some amount of time) permit that requires re-issuance.
• Air monitoring requirements possible.
• Could limit the amount of land mined at a time.
• Possible expansion limitations.
Potential frac sand mines in Crawford County are a concern for many of us who live here and/or own land in the county. A mine in Bridgeport will affect not only residents of that township, but all of us who drive on the roads, boat and fish on the Wisconsin River, and depend on clean air. That would be just about all of us, I reckon.
I urge you to contact the Town of Bridgeport officials with your concerns. Citizen involvement across the state has helped local government write conditional use permits that balance citizen needs with mining interests.
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