Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Limestone mining and red-dirt mining more than an irritation to neighbors: Such activities create a new source of pollutants all over the watershed

DSCN9607polluted flow from limestone gravel pile
Plenty of people are grateful for the Fayetteville City Council's brave vote to regulate the mining of red dirt and limestone in and around the city. But misuse of the products of that work also needs to be discussed.
Here is an example of misuse of red dirt in Northwest Arkansas.
A man speaking late in Tuesday, October 20, 2009, meeting of the Fayetteville City Council presented an example of how important it is to be able to operate his red-dirt farm when a quick job is needed. He said that his company had to put 8,000 yards of red dirt in the outfield of the Razorback baseball field at the last minute so that they season could begin.
Many people have heard me say that the only land I have ever VOLUNTARILY MOWED in my life was the 3-lot vacant space next to my home when I was a youngster. I mowed it because we played baseball there. So I love baseball and would consider mowing space to play ball on now. But filled an outfield with red dirt isn't something I would do or support others doing.
Baum Stadium and the new George Cole Field (and the old one a mile to the north) were built on wet prairie land. So we know there was filling to level it a bit and we know the turf there isn't native tallgrass. But bringing in red dirt is not something to brag about.
Please click on image to go to Flick site to ENLARGE view of runoff from pile of limestone gravel into the watershed of the West Fork of the White River. Similar examples may be found in the watershed of the Illinois River.

One major thing that the Fayetteville City Council has not talked about during all the discussion of regulating the mining of red dirt and limestone is trying to limit the amount of those substances used in various kinds of construction in Northwest Arkansas.
Demanding that such material be put only where it may really be needed, under roadbeds BUT NOT ALONG ROADSIDES, is important, more important in the long term than the noise and dust and danger of the process of mining and delivering the substances.
Moving soil or burying soil under anything must be recognized as a threat to the future of mankind's survival.

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