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No End In Sight For Utica Sand Mine Hearing

Posted by wlpo on January 16, 2014

It’s on to a fifth night for a sand mine hearing in Utica.

The joint meeting between the Utica Planning Commission and Board of Trustees didn’t end Wednesday night with a vote so the hearing will restart Tuesday, January 28th.  At some point that night, the sand mine hearing will have reached 24 hours total spread out over five nights.

According to the NewsTribune, several more witnesses are still scheduled to testify about the pros and cons of Aramoni, LLC wanting to mine sand on land they own north of Love’s Travel Stop.  Attorney Walt Zukowski who has been hired by objectors of the sand mine got the okay  to reopen the evidence phase of the hearing and call over a half dozen witnesses including Dr. Crispin Pierce, an associate professor at University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Pierce told the overflow crowd that mining for frac sand can cause cancer and that air quality already in the Illinois Valley is at or near an unsafe level and will only get worse if Aramoni starts mining north of Utica.  He suggested the village install pricey equipment recognized by the federal government to monitor air quality if they approved the sand mine.

Aramoni lawyer Jim Andreoni got Pierce to admit that the equipment he uses to study air quality isn’t recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and wondered why then he suggests the village use air monitoring equipment that he doesn’t even use.

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