Clayton County Officials Approve Sand Mining Expansion

clayton-coELKADER, Iowa (AP) – Clayton County officials have given final approval for expanded silica sand mining on 746 acres of land that has been rezoned despite health concerns from some who live near the site.
The Telegraph Herald reports that County Zoning Board of Adjustment members voted unanimously for approval Tuesday. The plan calls for underground sand mining by Pattison Sand Co. on rezoned land northeast of Garnavillo.
Company officials say the expansion is needed to allow it to keep pace with competitors by building its underground reserves.
A county mine reserve study committee recommended a 1,500-foot setback from mine vent shafts to nearby homes, but the county Board of Supervisors decided on a 500-foot setback. County officials have said the exposure to silica sand in the air from mining operations is a low health risk.