Statement by Kyle Peterson to the Clark County Commissioners. July 25, 2017
In a few weeks we will participate in another Clark County fair…the Fair at New Boston…which observes the Battle of Peckuwe where General Clark displaced hundreds of native Americans from their ancient settlement along the Mad River. Early settlers to Ohio recognized the value of this location calling it New Boston. The next few decades families flocked to the area due to its abundant soil and resources including the many fields of springs dotted around the countryside. This part of Ohio has been granted the gift of abundant water reserves by the massive glaciers that left their mark thousands of years ago. Springfield, Yellow Springs, and even the word Enon all refer to abundance of water. Julie Weatherington-Rice a prominent environmental consultant in Ohio has stated definitively, “the Mad River is the most prolific aquifer in the state and maybe the country because there’s such an integrated surface-to-groundwater interconnection,”. These aquifers lie below ground and store water filtered by the canopy of limestone – which is intermittently recharged by precipitation. A gift from nature indeed.
Water = life.
What do those in driest climates seek? Water. What do astrobiologists seek when considering life on other planets? Water. What did the homesteaders look for when putting down roots? Water. What do the families of Mad River Township rely upon every single day? Water. Clean & safe drinking water from their wells. Over 200 families and their 200 wells live within a mile of ground zero. The communities of Echo Hills, Cielo Vista, Oak Grove, Houck Meadows and Hustead surround the proposed site – none of which ever expected a quarry in their back yard. 420 acres. Great American Ballpark is 30 acres. The Clark County Fairgrounds is 130 acres. As a matter of fact the Village of Enon proper can just about fit inside the land owned by Enon Sand & Gravel. (*CAM Property Overlay) An entire village dropped right into the center of several peaceful communities. Except this isn’t a village..
It’s a quarry. Another quarry. The existing Enon Sand & Gravel quarry – that sits only 5 miles away from the proposed quarry – is 175 acres and will be eclipsed by this new proposed monstrosity that will leave nothing but a giant crater in the center of Mad River Township. Do we really need another one? Does this truly benefit the community? And they will seek to do what they’ve done elsewhere. Crack the earth to remove the water so they can crack through more earth and remove more water so they can reach the limestone. This puts 200 wells in jeopardy and we have spent the last several months speaking to thousands of residents that are gravely concerned about this operation.
These residents, these voters are counting on their elected representatives to fight for them. Fight like you did in 2013 when Health Commissioner Charles Patterson stated – “ Our number one focus is making sure that nothing contaminates the water supply for tens of thousands of people”. Fight like you did in 2007 when Shelly Materials sued the county for denying their conditional use permit….and lost! We ask you now to fight for the citizens against a company that feels they can bully the ODNR, bully you into compliance, just for enforcing legal zoning laws. The citizens against mining are behind you in this fight.