The mining process commonly called “fracking” is the topic of discussion at a community meeting in the northeast Iowa town of Decorah tonight. The process involves pumping water and sand into the ground to break up rock, forcing out natural gas and oil from deep underground.
Lyle Otte is helping organize the meeting for residents concerned about the environmental impact of the process. “So, we’re concerned about damage to roads, damage to bridges, and just the beauty of the area. We live in a beautiful part of Iowa,” Otte says.
Officials in nearby Allamakee County passed an 18-month moratorium on fracking earlier this month, and Otte says Winneshiek County residents want a discussion of the potential impact. “Because it is private property and people can pretty much do what they’d like, but we want to make sure the consequences aren’t significantly bad for the rest of us in Winneshiek County,” Otte says.
There’s currently no fracking for oil or gas in Iowa, but there is one frack-sand mine in northeast Iowa’s Clayton County. That sand is being transported to destinations out of state.