PLAN COMMISSION MEETING
Town of Cooks Valley
March 6, 2017
Chairman Doug Zwiefelhofer called the Plan Commission meeting to order at 8:00 pm on Monday March 6, 2017 at the Cooks Valley Town Hall [15751 40th Street]. Plan Commission members in attendance: Doug Zwiefelhofer, Calvin Swartz, Thomas Short, Stanley Sarauer, and Damian Prince.
Approval of the plan commission meeting minutes of February 3, 2016: Calvin Swartz made a motion to approve the February 3, 2016 minutes. Calvin Swartz seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
Public Comment: Doug Zwiefelhofer, chairman, confirmed the members of the plan commission had the latest rendition of the PurFrac non-metallic mining application permit, reclamation plan, and permit from Chippewa County. There was a recap of public comments by Chris Harmon, Mark, Chad, and Virginia Berge, Glory Adams, and Gary Yakesh from the public hearing on February 22, 2017.
Mark Berge: questioned if there would be testing of oil/petroleum/gas in the water. He would like to eliminate mining on Saturday and Sunday. He commented there are new guidelines for releasing storm water [still can release water containing sand/mud in an emergency situation.
John Dustman: There will be 18 monitors on site in shallow wells that would detect oil, etc. from a spill. Five gallons qualifies as a spill.
Bruce Durand: Wants the option of operating on Saturday due to inclement weather preventing mining activity and they would be behind on production. They would have less acreage op and would contain storm water within the mine.
Stanley Sarauer: What would be the total amount of gallons in the five storm water ponds around the wet plant?
Chad Berge: What would be the period of time that water would cover the mine floor? How long would the ponds discharge water? When/if you drain the water from the mine floor, where would that water go?
Dustman: No discharge is permitted. The ponds are unlined and the mine floor will not be under water at any time.
Durand: The floor of this mine is so different; it has permeable sandstone.
David Clements: on page five of the application, it states all piles of sand and the wet plant will be on concrete? Will there be test wells off site?
Durand: The County may require more wells. They will be reclaiming as they go.
Jerry Rubenzer: Where is the plant going to be? Is it going to be behind my house?
Darrel Fehr: Read a letter from Dan Masterpole of Chippewa Co. Land Conservation which indicated there are two options open for the relocation of the wet plant without redoing the reclamation plan.
Jerry Rubenzer: Is my well going to be tested?
Mark Berge: Who will be responsible for the well testing?
Durand: PurFrac will be responsible for well testing and the test monitoring wells will be at least 10 ft. into the water table.
Victoria Trinko: see attached comment
Durand: The mine will bring in jobs as there are no jobs for high school graduates now. Farming is polluting streams, lakes and rivers. Coal Mining in Montana is providing electricity for people. Fracking is progress, providing a supply of clean energy. The sand mine will reclaim itself, citing how gravel pits have trees growing in them. There is a crop of sand underground and the owners have a right to mine it. There will be well reports. They will drive down until they hit bedrock, place cement around the casing and drill deeper. They would like to keep the option to blast. They will run it as a business better so with blasting will save $400,000 on a dozer. They had asked the board prior to starting this project if they would be denied a permit. The board told them to do their homework, get the reclamation plan and then would see how the process would proceed.
Dustman: The sand is old sand and has no sharp shards; said people do not have asthma from sand mines.
Heather Anderson: There will be no more wildlife in this area being mined-the wildlife has dispersed; no more eagles, there are shards from blasting. She is not fond of sand mines as her dogs can not be outside as the dust affects their eyes and she can see dust blowing from her house to the Superior Silica mine.
Dustman: The air monitor for the DNR is in Eau Claire.
Victoria Trinko: The last air monitoring report from Dr. Crispin Pierce for the Town of Cooks Valley had the average air particle ratio above any day on the DNR monitor located in Eau Claire.
Chad Berge: on page eleven of the permit application, it states there are pipes leading off the mine site.
Loran Zwiefelhofer: What is the perimeter of the well testing? !/4 -1/2 mile? The perimeter is ¼ mile but the developers will test out to a ½ mile if requested.
Bill Schindler III: Everyone is comparing PurFrac to EOG. We shouldn’t compare PurFrac to other mines, because PurFrac will do it better. The wildlife will still be there. The land is valuable to him. Don’t hurt others if you don’t have a reason for them to start a business. He hopes the developers will move the plant further north.
Virginia Berge: I have lived here for thirty-five years and never expected this industry to be here. It has turned our lives around with the trucks and with an in decrease property values. There has been nothing positive for us.
Ben Rubenzer: Is it the developers’ intention to have the sand piles and water plant on concrete?
Durand: There will be a monitoring site. There is another type of mine like this [learned this in Wyoming, in coal mining]. Other mines share information with them.
David Clements: Will you be able to determine if there will be agricultural matter vs. PM 2.5?
Rubenzer: Will there be a contractual obligation, guaranteed property value.
Durand: There would be property value guarantees. Assessed value of 2017 tax roll plus 10% or assessed in the future for the length of the term of the mine within arm lengths deal.
Ken Schmidt: in the Town of Howard, they go by the appraisal of the property with the first owner eligible but not the second owner.
Discussion and possible action by the members of the plan commission regarding the PurFrac non-metallic permit application: The plan commission discussed the application page by page. There was discussion of the location of the plan and hoped to move it north and west. There will be one high capacity well, will update the ¼ mile for well testing, look at the spine that exists between the property lines with EOG. They will determine the pattern of mining. As they proceed north, conveyers will carry sand to the wet plant. There will be a cover of the conveyer if over a ½ mile and will not run the conveyor in the winter.
Calvin Swartz made a motion to recommend approval of the PurFrac non-metallic mine permit application to the Town of Cooks Valley board with the following conditions:
Damian Prince seconded the motion. Stanley Sarauer amended the motion to add 8. the condition of a road agreement between EOG and PurFrac on 135th Avenue. Calvin Swartz seconded the amendment. The motion on the amendment carried 5-0. The original motion with the amendment carried 5-0.
Future Agenda Items & Business: no future items and business at this time.
Adjourn: Calvin Swartz made a motion to adjourn at 11:57 pm. Damian Prince seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
Typed: March 13, 2017 Respectively Submitted
Approved: September 6, 2017 Thomas Short-Secretary/plan commission