Saturday, April 2, 2011


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.


  1. The NDACT spokesperson at today's meeting said it best-there is no legal crop you can grow that generates enough revenue to pay over $4,000 an acre to keep water out of this hole.

  2. The energy cost is just a part(significant as it is) of the overall costs which must be borne by the productive acreage. The only revenue source to fund the pumping and the other costs will be from the income of the farmed land, unless there is a sizable trust account set up by Highland.
    These additional costs include the maintenance of the pumps; the replacement of the pumps; the inspection and maintenance of the recharge wells (which number around 540) which may clog or become contaminated; the replacement of recharge well pipes which will degrade and leak in time; the monitoring well inspections and maintenance; the entire water compliance assessment regime which needs to be staffed, and supervised (there are annual reports required to be filed with a number of government agencies); and contingencies such as low water levels that may require the provision of temporary drinking water to affected residents, and the drilling of new deeper well in order to repair the situation, the possibility of having to install hydraulic barriers around areas in the quarry that leak excessively; the uncovering, cleaning and reconstruction of basal trenches that become clogged and change the drainage in the quarry.

    There is probably more that I have not thought of yet. And all this will be paid forever by anyone who owns the land. Now do you still believe that this quarry will be rehabilitated??