Lost opportunities affect communities.
Long working with industries required to comply with state law, industry routinely chooses short-term monetary gain over long-term plans that benefit community and industry.
In Aaronsburg, court decisions on mining litigation are part of an agreement that must be followed by industry.
Changes can’t be made without the consent of those who brought the litigation.
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When we were offered the unusual opportunity to agree or not agree to a change in a mining permit, we met with the mine owner and operator.
A site visit elicited an amusing but unsuccessful effort at “green washing”: suggestions that desired change would be aesthetically pleasing and better for agriculture were neither relevant nor true.
This visit quickly deteriorated to bullying us toward an immediate decision.
It didn’t work. We needed a drafted plan and mine operator and engineer refused to address what the proposed change would look like.
Fortunately, the state Department of Environmental Protection required that plan. Our own technical consultants developed an excellent analysis report.
The proposed industry plan was flawed and unworkable. It lacked accountability. Our road map report identified options for reducing pollution and increasing safety.
The mining operator would not consider our report. We could not approve of a bad alternative plan. It would increase pollution to our clean streams.
When someone is really thinking beyond today, they may want to make choices that will preserve our groundwater now and in the future, yielding benefit to everyone.
Imagine the free goodwill that working with a community could generate.
Nancy F. Parks