Rescind the Contract

To the Editor:

Last week, Southern Red Sands managed to get the water contract for its sand frac mine conditionally approved by the City Council. The next night it got a conditional use permit approved by the county’s planning commission. Interestingly, the project had changed substantially from Tuesday to Wednesday.

On Tuesday night the project for which the City of Kanab sold water had one well. The project approved by the planning commission the next night had two wells.

On Tuesday night, Southern Red Sands’ project had two silos. The project approved on Wednesday had six 120 foot silos.

While other things also changed when Southern Red Sands brought its project before the planning commission, one thing that didn’t change was that the company still planned to use trucks carrying 42 tons of sand. This is interesting because that load is considerably larger than the 25-ton load that is standard in the industry.

It also implies that Southern Red Sands intends to run trucks with weight loads that considerably exceed the 80,000-pound limit for the interstate highways that the company needs to use to bring the sand to its markets. It’s not just that the 42 tons (84,000 pounds) of sand is more than the 80,000 pound limit, the trucks themselves weigh at least 30,000 pounds. This implies loads of more than 114,000 pounds, far in excess of the legal limit.
While it is possible that Southern Red Sands intends to break the law, more likely this is just another item that it is not being honest about. The reason why the truck loads matter is that the 25 ton truck loads means nearly twice as many trucks going to and from the mine. For those of us concerned about large number of heavy trucks going through Kanab, the additional noise and safety risk is a really big deal.

The fact is, Southern Red Sands was not honest when it got the City Council to approve its water contract last week. This dishonesty should not be rewarded, the City Council should rescind the contract.

Dean Baker