mailmanThis famous line from Goldfinger to James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger captures the expectation of CLEAN (Cayuga Lake Environmental Action Now), Assemblywoman Lifton, and Water Huang that denying Cargill permission to emplace ventilation Shaft #4 in Lansing will force the closure of the Cargill mine.

Shaft decisions must be made, however, on the basis of real and significant environmental risk, and significant risk has not been identified. Furthermore, continuing the mine operation reduces risk to Lake Cayuga because as long as the mine is operating its condition will be well monitored and equipment and knowledgeable personnel will be at hand to address any problems that develop. Good design, and monitoring by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation will mean future mining will continue to be as safe as in has been over the last 95 years of operation.

Salt mining is the safest kind of mining, salt is a needed commodity, and the Cargill mine is an important source of this resource. A brief summary of the salient points and the full discussion in three open letters to Governor Cuomo (my July 13 comments on CLEAN's arguments, their July 21 response, and my August 7 reply) can be found at

Lawrence M. Cathles
Lansing, NY