By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
After much debate and after hearing from Nexgen Silica representatives, the Ste. Genevieve County Health Board voted to follow the county commission’s lead.
During their second special meeting in five days, the board voted to adopt an ordinance similar to the county commission’s, placing some limitations on all future mining operations in the county.
The meeting was a bit contentious at times, with much of the debate centering on whether the board should wait until after Thursday’s public hearing to decide on an ordinance.
Many opponents of the silica sand mine Nexgen Silica is wanting to develop have feared that the company may be able to get a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit immediately after Thursday night’s meeting and have a “green light” to break ground. Doing so, they argue, would render any ordinances passed after that date null and void.
An attorney for Nexgen Silica disagreed with that interpretation.
NEXGEN REPS STATE THEIR CASE
The meeting was the first time that both sides of the silica debate stated their cases at the same event. Roger Faulkner, owner of R & K Construction and a managing member of Nexgen Silica, spoke, along with Clark Bollinger who will manage the mining operation. So did their attorney, Julie O’Keefe of Armstrong Teasdale LLP of St. Louis.