(KCPW News) Herriman officials are raising concerns about Salt Lake County’s plans to sell 800 or more acres of Rose Canyon to Kennecott. The county purchased more than 1,600 acres of open space in the canyon in 2007, but was only able to secure the subsurface rights for about half the property, while Kennecott continued to hold the rest. Herriman Mayor Josh Mills says his city’s main concerns are water and air quality, and the preservation of open space. He fears the exploration could affect residents’ wells.
“Pulling the water out of the wells, it’s better water, it tastes better and it costs us less.” Mills says. “We were concerned that if something happens to the underground aquifer in the mining than we may have issues with pulling that water forward.”
Herriman City leaders sent a letter to Mayor Peter Corroon last week, outlining requirements they want Salt Lake County to demand in the purchase agreement with Kennecott. Those include no open pit mining and a pledge to stop all mining if the aquifer is breached.
Ann Ober, Intergovernmental Relations Officer for the county, says they are aware of the concerns.
“The county since, that time, has been trying to negotiate for additional items into some sort of agreement regarding the possible exploration of the property and we’re just working with Kennecott to try and figure that out right now.” Ober says.
While the $5.3 million dollars from the sale may go towards protections for the Jordan River Parkway, Mayor Mills says Herriman is more concerned with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.