Originally Published: September 20, 2017 5:58 a.m.
The proposed Kirkland pozzolan mine presents serious danger to public health on a number of levels.
First is exposure to hazardous dust at the mine site. It is presumed this can be abated on production days, due to the application of up to 350,000 gallons of water each day to control airborne contaminants.
The Kirkland Mining Company, in a written letter to Representative Paul Gosar’s office dated July 31, 2017, states that the material is “high in silica, a known carcinogen.” The material analysis shows 74 percent silica content. Silica dusts, such as pozzolan, are notorious for the damage they do to the lungs and respiratory system when inhaled.
Second, this same particulate will become airborne in transport from Kirkland to its destination in Drake.
Third is the vast increase in truck traffic on country and city roads necessary to support this hazardous transfer. A July 31, 2017, letter from Kirkland Mining Company to Representative Paul Gosar states that up to 85 trucks per day would leave the mine, and 85 trucks would return, for a total of 170 trucks per day on Iron Springs Road.
In sum, the Kirkland Mine, utilizing BLM resources, will benefit a discreet group of beneficiaries, while dramatically impacting the health, safety, quality-of-life and water resources of the public, while adding virtually no community benefit in return.