3 Up For Renewal
Three sand dune mining permits in Berrien and Van Buren Counties are up for renewal on December 31, 2010. The sand dune mining act requires the permit to be renewed if “the sand dune mining activities have been carried out in compliance with” the law, rules promulgated under the law and conditions of the permit.
PTD has submitted comments on each of the permits to the DEQ.
The Nadeau Pit is located on the Blue Star Highway along the southern edge of Covert and Van Buren County. It was originally permitted in 1978. At that time, a 15 year mining plan should have been submitted as required by the law. It has never been updated. Without a current 15-year mining plan, the mine is not in compliance with the law. PTD has asked that the permit not be renewed unless and until an acceptable mining plan is submitted by Technisand.
The Nadeau Site is north of Taube Road, east of I-196 and south of the Van Buren/Berrien County line. The DEQ is currently considering a request from Technisand for a 5 year renewal of the sand dune mining permit.
As reported on page 1, reclamation will be completed by December 31, 2013. There is absolutely no reason for a permit to extend beyond that date. PTD has asked that the permit be extended by only two years so it is coterminous with the township permit.
The Busse Property is on the Blue Star Highway just north of the Blue Star Lounge. We oppose the renewal of the above referenced permit for five years. No mining has taken place since 1999. Yet, TechniSand, the permit holder, has yet to satisfactorily complete reclamation. While the sand dune mining act does not impose a limit on the time allowed for reclamation, there is no justification for the DEQ to aid and abet this continuing delay by TechniSand.
The permit should be reissued for a period of only one-year. If TechniSand, cannot or will not satisfactorily fulfill their obligation to reclaim the site, the DEQ should use the conformance bond to complete reclamation of the site.