If you have taken a look at Highlands application the first thing you will notice is there are no quantitative numbers provided. In other words they tell you they will run 16 pumps 24/7 to keep water out of their 2,400 acre 200 foot below the water table open pit limestone mine dry.
What they don't tell you is once they have mined the holes dry (intentiional pun) they will disappear so that IF we want the water pressure stablized someone will have to pay the hydro to run these pumps, NOT to mention the maintenance and mitigation.
A friend gave me these numbers and the bottom line is it would cost, in todays dollars and hydro prices, $4,449.59 per YEAR per ACRE to keep the hole dry.
And if you read the fine print of Highlands proposal, and it is all fine print, while they are mining 2,400 acres, give or take a few, only 1,263 acres, less than half, can be returned to agriculture.
Why? Well because of the slope on the sides of the hole. And of course then in order to farm it someone would have to maintain the road to get to the bottom of the hole and haul the crops back up, etc. etc. etc.