To the editor:
I am concerned that there has not been more attention given to the proposal from Penny’s Concrete to destroy nearly a square mile of fertile Kaw Valley farmland between Lawrence and Eudora to strip-mine sand for their concrete-making operations. The request for a conditional use permit for a sand pit operation comes before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission on Monday, and the only media reports that have been done are a couple of short articles on it published in the Journal-World.
The proposed 70-foot deep sand pit would be a half-mile wide, lying between East 1850 and East 1900 roads, and stretching north from North 1500 Road nearly a full mile to within 300 feet of the Kaw River. This would be a monumental change in the character and environment of the Kaw Bottoms, and would be a serious threat to the environment and agricultural production in the area.
The pit would eventually lead to major changes in the channel of the Kaw that would cause impacts upstream as far as Lawrence and downstream for miles. The pit could seriously degrade the quality of groundwater in the area as far as Eudora and beyond by opening up the groundwater table to pollution from agricultural runoff and airborne contaminates.
It is imperative that such a potentially devastating change in our area not slip in underneath the radar without the public knowing fully what is happening and what it means for all of us.