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Ste. Genevieve Residents Fire Questions At Sand Mine Owner

Kristofor Husted

Dozens of Sainte Genevieve County residents met Tuesday night with the company applying to open up a sand mine in their neighborhood. Locals fired questions at Mark Rust, owner of Summit Proppants, for four hours about the mine’s potential impact on the community.

The biggest points of contention between locals and the company included regulation on air and water quality, the 50 semis traveling in and out of the facility daily, the possible decrease in property value and a guarantee that the company would only operate during the day. Summit Proppants owner Mark Rust answered many of the crowd’s questions by saying the company will abide by whatever regulations are deemed by the pending permit.

Many meeting attendees voiced dissatisfaction with Rust’s vague answers. Jane Hardy lives about 1000 feet away from the proposed mine. She says she wasn’t appeased by the mining company’s answers because everyday activities will be affected by the blasting and truck traffic.

“I’m still not going to be able to walk my dogs and ride my horses, so it doesn’t make me feel better," Hardy said.

Rust filed the application to mine within the 73 acre location for up to 30 years. He said the operation would employ 8 to 10 people and would contract local groups for the blasting and transportation. The sand would primarily be exported outside Missouri to use in hydraulic fracturing operations for natural gas, commonly known as fracking.

Sainte Genevieve residents will have the opportunity to meet with the company again later this summer to address other unanswered concerns.

Kristofor Husted is a reporter forKBIAin Columbia. Follow him on Twitter: @krishusted.

Kristofor Husted is a senior reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo. Previously Husted reported for NPR’s Science Desk in Washington and Harvest Public Media. Husted was a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and a 2015 fellow for the Institute for Journalism and Justice. He’s won regional and national Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI and Sigma Delta Chi awards. Husted also is an instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. He received a B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.