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Where is the Matanuska Wind in Usibelli Coal Mine’s Air Permit data?

March 31, 2011

We all know it’s common sense that clean air and water are important to protecting our health and property values.

Usibelli Coal Mine’s Wishbone Hill Air permit modeling data is from 1990, the DEC standard is to not accept data over 17 years old.

40% of the modeling data is missing. That is equal to over 147 days. The EPA threshold for missing data is 10%.

Precipitation for the year is 0.00 millimeters, yet in the application, Usibelli Coal Mine claims that they will not need to worry about fugitive dust blowing off of the coal piles because of snow cover. Obviously ignoring the fact that they state there is zero precipitation, and that the wind blows the snow cover away, exposing the 100,000 ton proposed coal stockpiles.

Primary wind direction at Wishbone Hill is said to be from the South. No kidding! My guess is that the Matanuska Wind days (northeasterly with up to 100mph gusts) are somehow part of the 40% of the missing data – we are hiring a professional to confirm that.

The bottom line; to protect our health and property values we will need every person on this email list to submit comments by May 11th. Petitions & Comment letters are available from Heather at “Coal & Coffee” on Fridays at Vagabond Blues in Palmer 9-10 am, call 232-4155 for other times.

  1. Lila Taylor permalink
    May 13, 2011 11:12 am

    Hi, are you so concerned about the wind and what it brings to this Valley? There are quartz rocks at the foot of Knik Glacier..these ground up rocks can make people sick with silicosis, a lung disease which people also get from sandblasting. The open pits at Jonesville Coal mine also contains coal..that blows around, and the dust isn’t healthy as it causes a black lung disease for miners. How do they cope with this at Healy?
    The air around Palmer is full of glacier silt, sand and dust from Knik and Matanuska Rivers, which isn’t exactly healthy either when wind blows.
    The mining at Jonesville may provide jobs for more Alaskans, this would help the economy in the Palmer, Sutton, and Wasilla areas. Some of the coal miners from the Valley are still living..those who tunnel mined and the open pit mines at Jonesville Coal mine and Eska mines..

    • May 16, 2011 5:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment Lila. The town of Healy is 5 miles upwind of the open pit mining areas. Palmer, Wasilla and the greater core area are all located downwind of three proposed coal mining areas. When we already have compromised air quality, why should we ok a man made cause that will worsen our air, lower our property values, and our quality of life? Do you know who owns the mineral rights beneath your home? It takes an extensive title search to find out.

  2. August 1, 2011 12:44 pm

    Just the other day my son asked me “Mom, are windmills what put the power in the wires?” Take it from the mouth of babes….it is time that we turn to alternative solutions, such as wind-power. Instead of destroying our streams and rivers, and causing innumerious health problems by creating coal dust that will blow into our yards and homes, lets harness that same wind and create power in a clean way.

  3. WILLIAM STANTON permalink
    September 5, 2011 10:07 pm

    Coal just isn’t an option. I have flown news gathering helicopters out of NYC and Wash, D.C.
    for network and affiliate stations. I have yet to witness one strip coal mining operation in this neck of the woods that wasn’t environmentally debilitating and permanently damaging to flora and fauna and communities in surrounding areas. Strip coal mining is a very bad idea in the Mat Valley

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