Winneshiek County residents host public meeting about frac sand - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Winneshiek County residents host public meeting about frac sand mining


Nearly 200 people packed inside the Decorah High School auditorium Wednesday where they learned about potential sand fracking sites in Winneshiek County.

"Several of us are very concerned in Winneshiek County as far as mining is concerned," said Lyle Otte, moderator of Wednesday's meeting.

Otte said the main concern for many of the folks is that there's currently no ordinance regarding frac sand mining in the county. He said a mining company could request a permit and there would be nothing to prohibit it from mining frac sand.

Otte is part of the newly formed Winneshiek County Protectors group. He said the group is not opposed to frac sand mining per se, but the members want to make sure it's done safely.

"We need time to write a good ordinance so that the environment is protected," Otte said, noting he's especially concerned about keeping places in the county in good condition. "We have a beautiful county with bluffs and rivers and creeks."

Steffan Mirsky of Decorah attended Thursday's meeting.

"The area just provides so many recreation opportunities that depend on the bluffs and on the clean water for fishing and canoeing the rivers and, without that, the real local economy is going to be devastated and the beauty will be lost," said Mirsky.

The committee who held the meeting Wednesday will also hold an informational meeting on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Decorah Public Library.

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