A new mining controversy?

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to part of the article in last week’s Telegraph covering the regulation of mining in our county. I called out the commissioners for agreeing so easily to a workshop on a proposed new Land Development Regulation (LDR), a workshop requested by one lawyer representing one company. Citizens spent years questioning the proposed mine along the New River, and calling for workshops. None were ever held.

I don’t have anything against lawyers. I just spoke about what was immediately in front of me, from a state of shock. The lawyer represented Chemours, a multinational corporation with local operations. Chemours has corporate offices in eight countries around the world. They are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. I should have said that citizens tried unsuccessfully for years to get a workshop on mining, but when one multinational corporation asks for a workshop, it is immediately granted.

Our county attorney, Mr. Komando, contradicted me, saying in fact citizens asked for a review of this regulation, that the workshop was in fact prompted by phone calls to a couple of commissioners from the public. That may be true, because as he said, we don’t see what goes on behind the scenes with our government. Indeed.

I am quite surprised to learn that citizens are suddenly concerned with the LDRs in our county. It is an obscure rule-making function, and, as I’ve watched it for years, I’ve seen no citizen input or concern, except those who wanted more regulation of that mine proposal near Brooker. I’d like to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes. Could those citizens have been responding to their employer’s request to call their commissioners?

What happened in public was not citizen input. It was a lawyer for a corporation requesting and receiving a workshop. It appeared the commissioners were ready to adopt the LDRs as written, protecting wetlands from mining, when the lawyer spoke up.

I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy.

Kate Ellison