Editorial: Proceed with caution on UMore planThe University of Minnesota’s UMore development will have a big impact on Rosemount for decades to come, so it makes sense for the city to proceed with caution as it works through an alternative urban areawide review process
Big things are ahead for Rosemount. As the University of Minnesota continues to move forward with plans to create a sustainable community on property it owns in the southern part of the city, many things are happening.
On Tuesday, the city held a public informational meeting regarding the Alternative Urban Areawide Review. During a presentation, city staff explained three possible development scenarios for the site and the potential impacts of each.
The council will also consider a large-scale mining ordinance at its next meeting. If the council approves the ordinance then Dakota Aggregates will likely apply for a mining permit in the following weeks.
While all of these things are exciting, we want to remind city leaders to be mindful of the property and the potential dangers that exist. Various investigations have found pollution on the site, including in the areas proposed for mining and areas where the university plans to build a community.
Last year Barr Engineering released its remedial investigation of the eastern 3,500 acres of the site. The company found hazardous substances in 39 of the 71 sites it investigated. Substances found included mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead and more. Those substances pose real and present dangers.
Investigations done in anticipation of mining have revealed similar pollutants. According to an Environmental Impact Statement done on the site, the concern there would be the contamination of the groundwater.
The site will be mined in phases and Dakota Aggregates is working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to come up with a plan to ensure contamination doesn’t happen.
While we trust the MPCA to act in the interest of the environment, it is the city’s responsibility to protect residents.
As the planning commission and city council delve into the permitting process we urge them to take care and act responsibly. Ask questions, then ask more questions. Work with Dakota Aggregates but work for the people of Rosemount.
We believe everyone has the same goal in mind and that the future holds great opportunities. However, we don’t want those opportunities to come at the peril of current residents.
So as things move forward we ask Rosemount’s leaders to do their due diligence.