February 22, 2013Dear Senator Marty and fellow committee members,Thank you for allowing comment on the silica sand issue. My name isLiza Eng. I have lived in Wabasha County for over 32 years and am aWabasha City resident.I attended the public comment period up at the Capitol on Tuesday,February 19th. I felt the mining industry speakers misled thecommittee on a number of points. Proponents said this is the mostregulated industry in the state. The words rock, aggregate, and sandwere lumped together. These resources are not the same. Yes,industry has mined silica sand in the past. We have used that sandfor roads, golf courses, and glassmaking. What the industry proposesnow is not a mom and pop operation. As Pat Popple from ChippewaFalls, WI stated on Tuesday, this is large-scale industrial mining.It will have far-reaching detrimental consequences for our state andsmall town communities.Some testifiers mentioned jobs and good paying union jobs. I amneither anti-job nor anti-union. My father and husband both belongedto unions. Jobs will be created from silica sand mining. But, atwhat cost?Southeastern Minnesota is one of the most scenic regions in our state.People travel here to go boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.What will happen when the tourists decide not to come because of themines or the heavy truck traffic? What about jobs lost?As a committee, you need to be aware of what problems frac sand minescan cause. I will list just a few.1.) Jobs. I mentioned the possibility of lost jobs already.2.) Air. Silica sand particulates can cause silicosis. It is caused by air particles we breathe into our lungs. These particles cannot beseen by the naked eye.3.) Water. Frac sand mines use our groundwater to clean the sand.This could become very problematic if we continue to experiencedrought conditions. Sand mines usually build retention ponds to holdthe water from sand washing. If these ponds fail, acrylamide canenter our groundwater.4.) Property values. In the video Frac Sand Land, a local farm wifefrom the township of Cooks Valley, WI was interviewed. She and her family live at the intersection of 135th and DD. There are 4,000trucks per week running by her house. These trucks are from one mine.
Her home value in two years’ time has dropped by 50%.