Health and safety first...
Jan 30, 2014 | 1491 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I am a resident of Grand County. I support protecting a large amount of wilderness in Grand County and request that the Grand County Council do the same as it drafts a proposal to Rep. Rob Bishop in regards to the Bishop Public Lands Bill for Eastern Utah.

Extractive energies have a long history of polluting the air and water of surrounding communities. Our culture depends on energy production and so, as a general philosophy, I support maximizing renewable energy.

As a registered dietitian who has worked in the health care field for more than 30 years, I feel that allowing more extractive processes into the public lands of Grand County is in opposition to preserving public health. Grand County seems poised at a crux between the current level of extractive industry activity and a huge increase in extractive development. At the recent levels we have enjoyed the clean air and water, which is essential to health, and, I believe, is the responsibility of government to help ensure. We have also enjoyed a social climate of relative safety for most citizens. This could change drastically if large-scale extraction is allowed.

Promises made by the energy companies stating that water and air quality (and quantity) will be preserved are to be questioned. I lived in Wyoming and watched many communities lose their clean air and water due to extraction processes, despite promises made to the contrary. Even here in Moab, any money gained by the Atlas mill has surely not covered the expense, which taxpayers have paid, of the UMTRA cleanup.

Of equal importance is the change in social quality of a community when larger numbers of single, well-paid, nonresident workers temporarily move into an area (evidenced recently in North Dakota).

My family and I enjoy recreating in wilderness quality areas, and I realize recreation represents a large part of Grand County’s economy. However, the health and safety of Grand County residents remains my primary concern for asking the county council to protect large amounts of wilderness in Grand County.

Thank you for your time in drafting a proposal to Rep. Rob Bishop. I am hopeful that Grand County residents’ health and safety will significantly factor into your document.

—Rita Rumrill


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