Dear Friends,I am writing with an urgent appeal, the background of which is below. In essence, this coming Tuesday, 3 March is when the Houston County Commissioners will take their final vote on frac sand mining in Houston County. In spite of their vote FOR a ban two weeks ago, they now seem to be back-pedalinig toward ordinances which will do no good in truly regulating the industry. (For example, enforcement language indicates that the County "may" take actions if violations occur, not that it "may," "shall" or "will.")
We are looking for people from within an hour radius to come.
Houston County Commissioners Backpedaling on Frac Sand Mining Ban
At their Feb 24th meeting, Houston County Commissioners backpedaled on the commitment they made the week before to ban frac sand mining in the County.
On February 18th, the Houston County Board voted unanimously to add language to the draft mining ordinance that would ban frac sand mining. That decision was made after a three-hour Public Hearing during which hundreds of County residents turned out to overwhelmingly voice their opposition to the mining of silica sand for use in hydraulic fracking.
Since then the County Board has been pressured by the mining industry and its local allies to abandon that commitment. It appears a majority of the Board, Steve Schuldt, Teresa Walter and Judy Storlie, now favor allowing frac sand mining instead of a ban. (http://www.news8000.com/news/frac-sand-mining-ordinance-vote-delayed-in-houston-county/31459714)
Following a controversial Public Comment period last Tuesday, Commissioners discussed regulating frac sand mining in the County instead of prohibiting it. This development comes despite the fact that Houston County Attorney Sam Jandt advised the Commissioners that a ban on frac sand mining could legally be passed and defended in Court.
During the contentious Public Comment period, Charlie Wieser from La Crescent again attempted to bully the Board into rejecting the ban. Wieser, whose brothers Brian and Jeff, and other family members are heavily involved in the frac sand mining industry, again threatened that the County would be sued if the Commissioners passed a ban. (See a video of his comments and frequent updates at www.houstoncountyrealitycheck.com)
Please contact Commissioners Schuldt and Walter before the Tuesday, March 3rd showdown vote!
Teresa Walter 895-2446 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Schuldt 724-3639 or email@example.com
Tell them you want a ban on frac sand mining. Tell them that you do not believe their argument that regulations will protect our county from the destruction of frac sand mining.
Please try to attend our “Ban the Sand” rally this Tuesday at 8:30 at the County Courthouse before the Commissioners’ meeting at 9:00.
Houston County Government Accountability Project