Letter to the editor: Vail Resorts should not expose skiers to toxic snowmaking water | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Vail Resorts should not expose skiers to toxic snowmaking water

Jonathan Bowers

A Sept. 24 Vail Daily news story — a follow-up to the Vail Daily’s initial report that was run in the Summit Daily News on Sept. 22 — on the toxic algaecide leaking from Vail Resorts’ snowmaking tank is, at the very least, extremely disturbing.

The leak, which had killed 120 fish in the nearby Mill and Gore creeks in Vail, is not only environmentally deadly, but even the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends “not letting children play in the water or allowing dogs to drink the water for a couple more days.” This is toxic stuff.

But there is an issue tangential to this: This is the same water that goes into the man-made snow created on the mountain at Vail. Perhaps the same algaecide mixture is used at other Vail Resorts ski areas.

While I understand the corporation’s desire to create snow for early season, the fact that its algaecide-laden water is used as part of this process should come to a stop immediately. This is snow that is felt and breathed by early season skiers and snowboarders. Corporate records may even indicate how long this algaecide has been in use and how well-known its toxicity is.

Find an environmentally friendly algaecide, if there is one, for snowmaking. Or let Mother Nature dictate the ski and ride season, as Ski Cooper and Monarch have done successfully for decades.

Knowingly exposing skiers and snowboards to this toxic mess for the sake of early season snow — and, let’s face it, money — needs to be reconsidered.

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