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Do you want open pit coal mining in the Mat Valley?

July 1, 2011
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8 Comments
  1. Diane Carlo permalink
    July 1, 2011 7:26 pm

    Mat-Su is to beautiful to desecrate. Leave it alone please…

  2. Judy Heilman permalink
    July 1, 2011 8:18 pm

    What is wrong with our State agencies to even think of permitting coal mines in area’s that people live and work! Or in the middle of our salmon spawning streams!. Coal is dirty when they dig it, when it is trucked, or by rail, or stock piled to ship to other countries, and then they burn it and send the pollution back to Alaska. Our state needs to wake up and really look at the long range plan of preserving our wonderful renewable resources and not destroy what other states would love to have. A healthy place to live and raise our children is more important then putting money in the pockets of Corporations and politicians. NO TO COAL!

  3. July 6, 2011 3:29 pm

    Obviously, this survey is meant as a joke. It is common sense that coal is not candy. It is common sense that the 100 round trips made a day by double belly dumper coal trucks weighing 75 tons full would bother anyone living along their truck route (it says 75 tons in the Usibelli Permit!). What is that coal truck route? Will it be 12 miles south from Wishbone Hill up the Moose Creek turn on the Scenic Glenn Hwy to the location in the original mining permit: to the Gravel pit next to Sky Ranch on the Matanuska River just south of Palmer? Or, will they go where Usibelli claimed to the Matanuska Susitna Borough to get some income at the Port by traveling 75 miles each way down the Scenic Glenn Hwy through Palmer, and all the way down one of the most dangerous roads in the state, Knik Goose Bay Road to Pt. Mac to stockpile waiting for an ice free port, just 2.5 miles from Anchorage. By any route, sharing the road with 75 ton coal trucks is a bad idea.

  4. July 6, 2011 4:19 pm

    Here is the reality: Quoted directly from Usibelli.
    “A total of 1,815,000 tons per year of coal will be removed during full scale production. “(see 1)
    “Fifty-ton haul trucks with double bottom-dump trailers (approximately 25 tons per trailer) will be used to transport the coal. When the trucks are loaded, they will have a gross vehicle weight of 75 tons…” (see 2)
    So some math with large numbers: 1,815,000 tons of coal divided by 50 ton truck loads = 36,300 one way trips at 75 tons or 72,600 round trips. Divide by 365 to get the number of truck trips per day. So, for each day of the year (365/24/7 operations) that would mean 198.9 truck trips or 100 round trips!

    1: Usibelli’s DEC air permit, Wishbone Hill Supporting Operational Information, May 2010, page 4: Coal Removal.
    2. Usibelli’s DEC air permit, Wishbone Hill Supporting Operational Information, May 2010, page 5-6: Coal Hauling.

  5. July 6, 2011 4:46 pm

    One of the many ponds in the Wishbone Hill permit is an unlined slurry pond. It is 759 acre feet – but what exactly does that mean? Google “759 acre feet to gallons” and this is the result:
    759 acre feet = 247,321,234 US gallons.
    This is an unlined slurry pond with all the heavy metals washed off coal using a toxic volatile organic compound, sinking to the bottom and into our ground water that over 80,000 people downstream drink from in their private wells. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez oil spill was 11,000 gallons of oil.
    The location of this slurry pond is directly above the Elks youth camp, a school, and nearby Chickaloon affordable housing.

    Usibelli Coal Mine Inc.’s record speaks for itself. The mining company did not preform standard preventative maintenance at Healy. If they had, their slurry ponds might not have overflowed as they did last year when it rained. That is why Usibelli agreed to pay for their $60,000 fine in January. Do you want them spitting into your well?

    Do you want 247,321,234 US gallons of slurry filled with who knows what… filtering unlined into your water supply? We have a right to clean water. If we do not have access to clean water and private wells, our property values will fall.

  6. Michelle Schuman permalink
    July 7, 2011 7:04 pm

    FROM AIR QUALITY ALONE (lets not talk about water quality, impact to agricultural food crops and contamination; all that locally grown food in the Matanuska? soil contamination? forget that!) Mercury emissions from coal burning are concentrated as they work their way up the food chain and converted into methylmercury, a toxic compound that harms people who consume freshwater fish. In New York State, winds bring mercury from the coal-fired power plants of the Midwest, contaminating the waters of the Catskill Mountains. The mercury is consumed by worms, who are eaten by fish, and then by birds, including bald eagles. As of 2008, mercury contamination of bald eagles in the Catskills had reached new heights. Ocean fish account for the majority of human exposure to methylmercury; the sources of ocean fish methylmercury are not well understood.

    Coal-fired power plants shorten nearly 24,000 lives a year in the United States, including 2,800 from lung cancer.

    How many times is the air quality below standards just when the wind blows? Now multiply the contamination 100 times because now you have carcinogens in the wind ranging from:
    Sulfur Dioxide; Nitrogen Oxides (major contributor to ozone and Greenhouse gas);Particulate Matter (PM 10) Arsenic;Beryllium;Cadmium;Chromium;Hydrogen Chloride;
    Hydrogen Fluoride;Lead;Manganese;Mercury!

    Thats right; wind never blows in the Matanuska. So not to worry right. And why are we talking about coal development in 2011? This is not economic development but economic suicide. Say good bye to farming! To tourism! To community health and a quality of life! Say good bye to what is left,of our fisheries! Migratory birds! And lets not forget about subsistence on all that healthy local food such as moose, grouse, ptarmigan and berrys. Why do we limit our intake of halibut now?Salmon? Because the older the fish, the more mercury. Why? Clue: coal fired plant in China.

    Wake up Alaskans. If you think ADEC and ADNR have your health and safety in mind when they permit air quality and water quality permits think again. Take charge and learn about what this type of fossil fuel development can do to your health and then ask why this is happening in a State like Alaska and why you live here.

  7. daniele sell permalink
    July 14, 2011 9:20 pm

    We have GOT to stop this!!!

  8. October 1, 2011 2:55 pm

    How?

    Has anyone put together a demonstration, possibly held at the Chickaloon School almost next door to the entrance of the mine road. I would call the press and make a scene and get more attention focused on this issue. I am sure the support against the mine would be overwhelming.

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