I attended the Nov. 14 Town of Bridgeport Planning Commission public hearing on the proposed Pattison Sand Company’s frac sand mine permit applications. The commission refused a formal request to delay the meeting and reschedule for another date in a larger facility to accommodate everyone, instead calling for an informal hand count of mixed opinion on what to do. With little available seating this forced the majority of those present to stand shoulder to shoulder for 3 hours. The Board had been asked for a bigger meeting area before this meeting.
It appears the planning commission and board are eager to pass the application as quickly as possible which begs the question, WHY?
Most troubling is the permit applications may be adopted as is, in less than a weeks time, with the next meeting scheduled for November 21 at 5 p.m. The application from Pattison Sand is asking for little regulation, as it is in their business interests. Why are the Bridgeport township officials seemingly disinterested in gaining expert review of their own on this application? Why are the township officials disinterested in mitigating the effects of a 24/7/365 day application for the health and safety of their township citizens and the Wisconsin River corridor?
General comment would be, what's the problem - these are just sand trucks. This is silica sand (hazardous) and the fugitive dust (not seen) will affect everyone along the routes, parking areas and loading. Silicosis is a irreversible lung concern. Do you really want everyone you know and love to breathe this?
If this permit is adopted as is, it could set a precedent for all future township mining expansions and permits. Whether for or against this mine, all Bridgeport Town residents, landowners and those along the truck route who would see another 250 sand trucks day and night, possibly for 60 years, need to voice their concerns now.
- Ethel Drengberg