As an avid kayaker and a resident of Oakwood, I have been keeping an eye on the proceedings about the coal company coming into Vermilion and Champaign counties and asking for thousands of gallons of water from either the Mahomet aquifer and/or the Salt Fork River, on a daily basis.
When kayaking the Salt Fork, you can see families of geese along the shore. There is a blue heron rookery on one stretch of the river.
Often times on hot summer days, you can find people just sitting in lawn chairs, right in the middle of the river, while their kids play along the shore.
This can only happen when there is good water in the river.
Will the 82-year-old Boy Scout camp along this river, Camp Drake, suffer any from lack of water or harmful chemicals being washed downstream?
When the subject of selling water to the coal mine, Champaign County residents were the only ones who could vote on it. Even though it could affect Vermilion County and others downstream, not to mention Oakwood, who gets all of its drinking water from the Salt Fork.
At the present time, Oakwood can hardly keep within the EPA standard for drinking water, at least according to the letter the Oakwood Water Department sent out to its water users.
How then, will Oakwood Water be able to remove all the other contaminants in the water they use to clean the coal?