- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GARNAVILLO, Iowa (AP) - A public forum has been held for Clayton County residents to discuss the proposed expansion of a silica sand mine.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1rdjoe9 ) reports that residents gathered at the forum hosted by the Say No For Now group on Monday to talk about a potential zoning change that would allow Pattison Sand Co. to expand its underground silica sand mining operations. Silica sand is used by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing.

A five-member committee is reviewing the request to change 746 acres from agricultural to heavy industrial use, and is expected to present its findings to Clayton County supervisors.

Daryl Bruxvoort, a Say No for Now committee member, said his organization doesn’t oppose Pattison Sand’s operations, but does oppose a zoning change because more public input is needed.

“We want the county to address the issue of the county plan,” Bruxvoort said. “It needs to better reflect the will of the people of this county. Before this, Pattison was allowed to expand with practically no regulations.”

One person at the forum expressed environmental concerns about the potential expansion.

“These companies are about profit and not about taking care of the environment,” said Harry Walk. “What is stopping Pattison?”

Angela Sessions, public relations representative for Pattison Sand, told those in attendance that concerns about the expansion are unfounded, and that many of those concerns are addressed by the company on a daily basis.

Gary Bowden, vice-chairman of the Clayton County Board of Supervisors, said the board has not set a date to consider the zoning change.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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