U.S. Silica mines the quartz sand in the Oriskany Sandstone and sells it for industrial applications. The Oriskany, a sedimentary rock formation birthed about 400 million years ago, contains pure white silica. It is so pure, it won a Blue Ribbon at the Chicago Worlds Fair in the late 1800s. It is a natural product that is sold around the world — and kind of a source of pride for Morgan County.
I was rudely awakened a couple of weeks ago when I read in The Morgan Messenger that the company treats some of its sand for use during hydrofracking of Marcellus oil shales — deposits of which underlies Morgan and neighboring counties. I for one, do not believe that fracking can be done without adverse effects to the environment. Mismanagement, mistakes, accidents, speed, disinterest, and truck traffic are just a few factors that can and have contributed to contaminated water, air and quality of life at hydrofracking well sites in West Virginia and elsewhere.
I can’t wrap my mind around how a company that reaps rewards from the business it does in our county, could sell such a pure Morgan County product to interests that would use it to harm our environment. What a travesty.
This is one local product that should not be used locally. Let’s not sully West Virginia any longer.
I would rather read that U.S. Silica salespersons broke all records by shipping record amounts of their also fine and pure volleyball sand.