Consider frac sand moratorium in our county
To the Editor:
A call to action is coming, but first, there is a need for education and thoughtful reflection. The first step in any conversation is becoming knowledgeable on the issue at hand. Then, one can engage in respectful discourse.
Silica sand mining is an issue in our community where ecology, economics and equity intertwine and contention is inevitable. How can we as a community respect the needs of individual landowners and area economics without jeopardizing the sustainability of our natural resources?
Natural resources are assets preserved or used on behalf of all. The problem is not that we use said assets but the speed with which they are consumed and the lack of accountability for the amount taken, method of harvest and restoration of an area for future generational use.
Conventionally, we worry about these aspects after the fact. It is inevitable and perhaps, necessary that resources be used to promote the general good. But it is time to invest in a society that is willing to redesign how it uses finite resources and design for how the process will do the least harm.
For decades technologies have directed usage of natural resources. It is time to empower communities to direct technologies for sustainability. It is time for communities to direct the process of the harvesting of our natural resources toward eco-efficiency.
There must be a sustainable balance between the speed of the process, economics, work to be had, and consumption. Ethics and aestheticism must be equal partners with economics and resource consumption.
To this end, a group of Houston County citizens is looking into the ramifications of silica sand mining. We encourage the populace to consider a moratorium on it until an environmental study is complete, a production plan is in place, and accountability measures set up to ensure the county is not left with future clean up expenses.