White dust in Spanish Valley...
Aug 31, 2017 | 566 views | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We own a house in Spanish Valley next to the old airport. Two weeks ago we noticed an unusual amount of smoke going into the air near Ken’s Lake. We drove up to the area and were surprised that the smoke was actually dust from a new mine next to LeGrand Johnson’s pit. Some of our neighbors assumed it was a fire.

This new mine, owned by Staker-Parson, has a ten year lease and so far is following non-environmentally friendly policies. After talking with state and federal agencies, we found out it is not mining to the letter of the law. We have spent the last twelve summers in Moab and plan to retire there next year.

We have grave concerns about this new mine.

Our concerns are based on health and environmental issues. Everyone in the Moab area is inhaling the dust from the mine.

Our typical red dust in our house is now a white dust. The dust might contain among other things silica (which is a known carcinogen), which is something we should not be inhaling. The dust also obscures the mountains and red rims. Driving past the mine is a horrible eyesore. The mine operates 24 hours a day six days a week. During the night, the lights from the mine are very bright.We no longer have dark skies in Spanish Valley.

Keeping the dust down is critical for the physical and financial health of Moab. Tourists will not want to stay in Moab if they are surrounded by dusty skies and obscured views. The owners of the mine (Staker-Parson) have been mining for many years and should be able to rectify this situation. If you can let the town know what is going on, hopefully we can solve this problem.

—Alan and Laura Margolies

Moab

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