There is no state legislation regarding frac-sand mining on the horizon, according to Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors Chair John Logsdon.

And that is a good thing, Logsdon said.

"I've talked with a number of legislators and asked (about possible legislation), and the answer is no," said Logsdon, adding there are only a few counties in the state where frac-sand mining is an issue.

"Even in the two-to-four-county area, all the counties are in favor of local control," said Logsdon.



Status

In October, the Winneshiek County Protectors (WCP) presented the Board with a sample county ordinance regarding silica-sand mining. The Board took the ordinance under advisement but has taken no action.

In the proposed ordinance, companies would be required to come up with a mining operation plan and reclamation plan and would have to fill out an initial environmental assessment worksheet.

The ordinance would prohibit any processing of silica sand, which utilizes flocculants (a chemical substance added to a suspension to enhance aggregation of the suspended particles, chemicals or water)."

At Monday's Board meeting, Dick Janson, representing WCP, presented the county with a series of suggested amendments to the county's comprehensive plan he said were intended to encourage environmental land-use policy protection, including rural areas with aging bridges, sensitive bluffs, water and resources.

Janson also supplied the county with a number of maps, which WCP recently hired Iowa Resources, Conservation and Development to render.

Janson said the maps are a combination of Iowa Geological Survey maps and some overlays developed by RC&D to address suggested buffer zones between potential mining areas and delicate resources.