Salt Lake County’s move to block Parley’s mine now faces legal threats

Photo of Grandeur Peak, where mining is proposed for the northeast side. Photo by Eric Rogers. 

After unanimous and passionate public outrage, Salt Lake County Council passed an ordinance that blocked a mine proposed for Parley’s Canyon. 

Proponents of the mine (Tree Farm LLC) are refusing to listen to and accept the public’s very valid concerns. This mine is sure to bring increased dust pollution into communities along the Wasatch Front. Dust, aside from being a nuisance, is harmful to human health. Even small amounts can worsen symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma. 

Tree Farm LLC is attempting to use a 2019 state law to contest the ordinance for their personal gain, regardless of what their proposal will do to the quality of life along the Wasatch Front. The company is saying they have a right to mine due to the law’s emphasis on “critical infrastructure materials.” The law in question was widely criticized by clean air advocates, including UPHE. 

County officials dismiss quarry proponents’ claims as posturing and vow to stick with the new zoning amendment that bans new mines in the Wasatch foothills”, a Salt Lake Tribune article said. Local officials looking out for public health say the law was written with a distinction between minerals and critical infrastructure materials.

Tree Farm is also stating that they should have the right to mine in the area due to evidence of previous extraction. If that’s the case, there would be mines covering the state of Utah. It’s time for legislators to take a good look at the direction the state is headed in and reconsider their advocacy for the mining and extraction industry. We have a whole community of people  pleading not to damage their beloved recreation area and reduce their health.

Representative Kay Christofferson received $1,000 from the mining company’s parent corporation before the 2019 law passed. Elected officials are supposed to represent their constituents and communities, not big industry. Please contact your elected officials at every opportunity and make sure they are representing you appropriately, and not abusing their position. 

Click here to read more and find the Tribune article.