Originally published Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 05:58a.m.
I am one of many citizens who are deeply concerned about a proposed mining operation just west of Prescott. The following have emailed, or voted to email, their serious concerns to the Bureau of Land Management’s public scoping (firstname.lastname@example.org) ending Sept. 11: the City of Prescott Mayor, Harry B. Oberg; the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and District 1 Supervisor Rowle Simmons; Sen. Karen Fann; the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization; several homeowners’ associations from Ruger Ranch to Williamson Valley; and hundreds of constituents living in and around Prescott.
And yet, Congressman Paul Gosar remains silent. Gosar has introduced legislation seeking compensation for “Downwinders,” but as the possibility of another carcinogenic disaster threatens the air in his district, he sends his district director to the area with few facts and no answers about his stance on the subject.
Gosar has criticized the lack of protocols in years past, allowing carcinogens into the atmosphere, jeopardizing the well-being and health of Americans, but appears to be doing nothing in the present to change the pattern.
These are facts, not opinion. The pozzolan deposit the Kirkland Mining Company plans to mine in Skull Valley contains crystalline silica. Crystalline silica particles are carcinogenic and microscopic. Tiny particles hang in the air, rise high above the ground and move by suspension in the wind. Prescott is 13 miles from Skull Valley as the crow flies. The average wind speed in Skull Valley is over 16 miles per hour.
There is a pronounced imbalance between the mine’s negative impact and the benefits of the proposed mine. I, for one, would like to know where Congressman Gosar stands.