Shoals Residents Concerned With MS Industries Projects

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – On Wednesday, the Shoals Environmental Alliance gathered residents to discuss the process of oil-bearing sandstone and mining. Shoals residents are concerned MS Industries will want to strip mine oil-bearing sandstone in Colbert and Lawrence counties.

Cecily Hicks owns land in Lawrence County. She’s worried her property may suffer consequences due to the mining.

"I’m worried about the water quality. I think that's about the worst of it right now, except from what I hear now, it's going to be rough on the roads," said Hicks.

The Shoals Environmental Alliance has no affiliation with MS Industries. Member John Crowder says the Shoals Environmental Alliance’s goal is to notify residents of the consequences of major landing disturbing activities.

"We’re going to present some general information about surface mining and about how careful an operation needs to be if the land that is mind is to be reclaimed and restored to beneficial use," said Crowder

MS Industries CEO Steven Smith says the company has been in the works since 2010.

"Our goal is to safely extract the oil sands in the area. If it can't be done safely done, then it shouldn't be done at all," said Smith.

Smith says the company has over 20 million dollar in research preparing for this project.


  • Janice Barrett

    There’s no such thing as safely extracting oil sands. There’s nothing safe about strip mining or surface mining. It destroys land, water, roads, communities, property values and our health. Forever. MS Industries has said it will put the land back like it was through reclamation. This is simply not possible. People in north Alabama need to be very concerned about what MS Industries has planned for our community.

  • David Cope

    According to a knowledgeable source, the State of Utah is very strict about issuing permits for mining tar sands in this sparsely-populated state. According to this person, it is very difficult to obtain such a permit in Utah. It should be clear to everyone that this process cannot be conducted without serious harm to the environment, as has already occurred in Alberta, Canada.

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