Saturday, July 4, 2009

Why we need an EIS

July 1st, 2009

Why we need an EIS

I’ve been asked by several people this last week about why an Environmental Impact Statement is so important for opponents to Hyperion. I’ll explain it in a nutshell for all.

One of the most important reasons for having Hyperion provide us with an EIS is to show how our lives are going to change. Believe me, if this comes into being our lives are going to change, and I don’t believe it is for the better. Let’s just look at a couple of things that are going to affect us, and you decide whether or not it will be good or bad. Granted I’m going to be biased in my observation, but I believe it is a fair and just description.

First of all, imagine a sudden influx of 5,000 people. This temporary working camp will be the largest city in Union County. Hyperion said they will build temporary quarters for them. Just how big will those temporary quarters be that will house 5,000 and possibly 10,000 workers? HUGE! To put this in perspective, your normal motels have 100 rooms. Now you have to multiply that by 1000. This will cover a large area, and services will have to be provided for them.

There is a computer game out there called SIM City. The object of this game is to build a city with all the amenities. You have to build roads, bridges, streets etc. to accommodate the people that will live there.

Do you think for a minute that the roads we currently have will handle an additional influx of 10,000 people? I don’t think so. That number is just the people that will be working here. There is going to be additional traffic for delivery vehicles and vehicles that will be transporting construction materials. So that means that all the roads on the perimeter of the HEC and roads leading to and from will have to be altered to handle the added traffic and weight. Who is going to pay for this? This is just the roads.

The Union County REC is going to provide construction power and power to the temporary living quarters. Who is going to build the electrical system to handle all this? The REC is going to have to hire enough men to build this. These will be temporary workers, because when the construction is finished the number of workers won’t be needed anymore. Who is going to pay the additional wages? This will be paid by the members of the REC! Granted, the REC will bid the project so that money isn’t lost on the deal, but now we have to buy additional trucks and equipment to provision the workers.

What about the mail system. With 5000-10,000 workers they will have to build a substation to handle the influx of mail which means additional people will be hired on a temporary basis.

Now there will be additional jobs, but remember they are only temporary jobs, or will they be jobs that turn into permanent jobs? In the mean time, who pays the bills? WE DO!

Folks, if you read the Hyperion application they say they will bring millions of dollars in tax revenue and added income to the county and the state, but who gets the money? If you are outside of an incorporated city, you charge 4% tax on goods and services. That money goes to the state. How much goes to the county? ZERO! How much goes to the school district? The county sets a tax on the value of the property and this goes to the school. The township has a tax to provide them with a stipend to do road grading, mowing and weed control. I guarantee you that the state will step in and say that the school district cannot have all this money and that it must be shared by the rest of the state, so they will take most of it to redistribute it to other school districts, or put it in the state coffers to pay on the general fund. Back to my original question who gets the money? Hyperion says in their application that they expect to get the “normal” tax relief that South Dakota has for new corporate business in the state and requested the normal 98% tax relief on construction costs etc….. Hello folks do you see what is happening here? We are getting the royal shaft!

How is the influx of people going to affect the surrounding community? There will be an additional city in this county with no support facilities such as local shops. They will bombard us with their presence and how is this going to affect the balance of living between them and us? Hyperion needs to answer these questions, except they have received permission from the state not to submit any of this information. Thank you very much Secretary Pirner!

This is just the tip of the iceberg folks, I’m sure you can come up with questions of your own that Hyperion needs to answer. If they had to submit an EIS you could have an opportunity to ask those questions, but in their “Transparency” with the people in this area, they are hesitant to do this.

You don’t just suddenly have 5,000 people descend upon us and not have problems. Who is going to absorb the cost of this influx? Why should we have to bear the brunt of something we don’t want and don’t need? Are we being unreasonable in our quest for answers? Why won’t Hyperion come out and have public meetings and address these issues? I’ll tell you why. If they did this before the permit would be granted, it would never happen. Hyperion is being totally sly, devious, underhanded, cunning, elusive and deceptive in this entire process and we deserve better.


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