Houston County frac sand hearing looks at groundwater impact - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Houston County frac sand hearing looks at groundwater impact

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La Crescent, MN (WXOW)-- Houston County passed a year-long moratorium on frac sand mining back in February, while they explore both the economic and environmental impact.

At a Houston County public hearing tonight, a lot of questions focused on how groundwater will be impacted by both the removal of the sand, and the use of chemicals to clean the sand in the mining process.

A geologist at the hearing said the removal of the sand shouldn't drastically impact the filtration of groundwater. However the issue of chemicals used in the process was a question he couldn't answer.

And it wasn't exactly a packed house at the meeting, about 50 people attended. One county commissioner said they expected a smaller turnout because the moratorium is already in place.

Many in attendance were part of a group called the Houston County Protectors, who pushed for the moratorium. One member, John Jordan, says he still has a lot of reservations about the process.

"What we want to do is lay out a plan to research frac sand mining and its consequences and its impacts on Houston County," Jordan said. "So it's really a moratorium designed to study the issue, to resolve questions that we all have on our minds."

A lot of questions that came up and couldn't be answered will give the Houston County Board and the committee in charge of researching sand mining, a place to start.

The county is just in the very beginning stages of conducting studies to determine if, and when, frac sand mining permits will be granted.

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