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Halt Cargill Salt Mining Under Cayuga Lake Campaign Update/Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for Eight Years of Unrelenting Hard Work to Safeguard New York From Extraction Mining Hazards

Urgent Extraction Mining Alert - Urgent Extraction Mining Alert - Thank You - Thank You - Thank You

Please join more than 600 signatories to our landmark: Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Prohibit Issuance of State Permits/Authorizations for Salt Mining Under Cayuga Lake and Require a Transition to Salt Mining Only Under Dry Land

Encourage others to become signatories. Our goal is to gain at least 1,000 signatories in order to demonstrate strong support for our landmark proposal.

Keep calling Governor Cuomo at 518 474 8390 to request that Cargill Corporation's salt mining permit NOT BE REAUTHORIZED. It expired on 11/1/17.

Pour it on!!! Go, Go, Go!!! Without this critical permit the biggest privately held corporation in America cannot continue to mine salt under Cayuga Lake for potentially decades to come. Cargill must be required to move its salt mining operation under dry land surrounding Cayuga Lake.

This is the only way to safeguard Cayuga Lake 100% from a potentially devastating salt mine collapse that could irreparably harm this magnificent lake.

See: Cargill Cayuga Mine Map - 5 Year Plan

See all our extensive news coverage and detailed documentation at: Campaign to Halting Cargill Salt Mining Under Cayuga Lake


I am grateful to note that it has been nearly eight years to the very day since our campaign began working with laser-focus to require New York officials to protect public health and the environment from extraction mining hazards. Thank you so much for all of your unrelenting hard work. Happy Anniversary.

Salt mining has been one of New York's biggest and most environmentally devastating industries since the state's colonial days. Last year, Toxics Targeting documented extensive solution salt mining hazards that polluted Seneca Lake. Now we are working full force to phase out Cargill Corporation's 13,000-acre salt mine under Cayuga Lake, the source of drinking water for more than 30,000 residents

We are taking action due to the State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) tragic failure to prevent the collapse of the biggest salt mine in America on March 12, 1994. That Retsof, NY mine utilized the same salt excavation and "small pillar" support techniques employed at the Cargill Cayuga Mine.

DEC's formal ruling in the Retsof disaster determined, "While the cause of the mine's collapse remains disputed, consultants for the Department have concluded that Akzo's use of small pillar mining methods combined with an inadequate assessment of the geology overlaying the Retsof facility was responsible (emphasis added)."

See paragraph 12 at: Akzo - Ruling, December 21, 1995

A Cargill study released in 2000 documents that the Cayuga Mine struggled to cope with mine floor instability since the mid 1970's. Cargill's technical consultants reported, "It was theorized that the large, stiff pillars in the traditional room-and-pillar design caused instability by punching through the roof strata around the mine openings. This can lead to roof falls and/or floor heaves (emphasis added)."

The consultants also wrote, "In 1976, Cargill began to experiment with the use of yield pillars as a potential solution to the ground control problems that were plaguing the eastern workings of the No. 6 Level (emphasis added)."

See: Cargill Cayuga Mine Mined Land Use Plan

These are precisely the Cargill mine instability concerns documented in our coalition letter to Governor Cuomo as well as in a similar letter sent to DEC Commissioner Seggos by Assembly Representatives Barbara Lifton and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright. Both letters request that no permits be granted for continued salt mining under Cayuga Lake.

DEC Commissioner Seggos rejected those requests when he granted a permit for a $40 million Shaft #4 project that could result in a massive expansion of the Cargill mine, but he wrote, "Please note that the proposed action to add a new access shaft does not immediately impact the mine or mining operations. These activities are permitted and may continue with or without the construction and use of Shaft 4.

That is why we must make sure that Cargill's expired mining permit cannot be reauthorized. Without a mining permit, the Shaft #4 permit is essentially useless.

See: NYSDEC Commissioner Seggos 8/17/17 letter to Assembly Representatives Lifton & Englebright regarding Cargill Shaft 4 application

Finally, I am pleased to document that Cargill reportedly has developed mining alternatives that could allow the Cayuga Mine to operate for years to come without constructing Shaft #4. This would allow ample time for Cargill to transition to mining salt under dry land as DEC suggested to the firm.

See: Cargill Permit Process


Minerals extraction is almost certainly the least environmentally regulated heavy industry in America. As a result, oil, natural gas, coal, salt and other extraction activities from coast-to-coast have laid waste to huge areas of our nation.

During the last eight grueling years, our campaign has successfully played a critical role in stopping shale fracking dead in its tracks and strangling a fossil fuel extraction industry that devastated New York for nearly two centuries. I commend you on all those hard-won battles. Thank you so much.

Our highly sophisticated campaign is now focused on reversing the on-going deterioration of New York's lakes, rivers, bays and drinking water reservoirs. That is why the battle to protect Cayuga Lake is so immensely important.

If Cayuga Lake can be saved from further pollution degradation, we would provide a model for improving water quality for the rest of New York as well as the rest of the nation.

If historic Cayuga Lake endures further regulatory dithering, however, all other impaired waterbodies in our pollution beleaguered state are not likely to fare better, including Owasco, Skaneateles, Seneca and Honeoye Lakes as well as impaired drinking water reservoirs across New York.

We are fighting to clean up each and every impaired waterway. Go hard. Give it everything that you have got. We are all in this together.

Very best regards,