Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Along the Wasatch Front

Kennecott's Bingham Mine is the largest pit mine in the world. There is no other mine anywhere near this large, this close to this many people. Kennecott (Rio Tinto) is the largest source of heavy metal contamination to Wasatch Front air, water and soil. It is already by far the largest industrial source of air pollution along the Wasatch Front, responsible for about one third of the overall pollution in Salt Lake County, ten times more than the next industrial source, the Chevron refinery.

And now they're asking to expand- they're taking out an 8,ooo foot tall mountain. they're requesting that the state increase the legally permissible levels of air pollution (that we're not in compliance with anyway). The Kennecott expansion would provide jobs for only a few hundred employees at best. Meanwhile the air pollution impacts would be felt by about 1.8 million people and would curtail other economic and business activity, costing jobs with other potential employers. That is a grossly distorted risk/benefit ratio.

This is a post about the environment. But its also about how as parents every day we celebrate our children's thoughtful and polite behavior as well as disciple with an occasional time-out. We spend more energy making sure our kids don't burp in front of guests than we do voicing our opposition to MAJORLY CONSEQUENTIAL MISBEHAVIOR by those naughty boys in their slick suits proposing to take down entire mountains so they can get even richer while we suffer the consequences.

So please, take a few minutes to reign in these misbehaving boys by sending a public comment to

Cheryl Heying, Executive Secretary
Utah Division of Air Quality
PO Box 144820
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4820

And seriously Utah Division of Air Quality? No e-mail address?