On the Radio: Iowa Policy Project Report

Photo by Carol Mitchell; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a report released by the Iowa Policy Project concerning silica sand mining in Iowa. Listen to the audio below or continue reading for the transcript.

A new report warns lawmakers about silica sand mining in northeast Iowa.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The Iowa Policy Project Report argue that the costs associated with environmental degradation and reduced tourism could outweigh the economic benefits of the sand mines themselves.

Silica sand mining has become a leading issue in Winneshiek, Allamakee and Clayton counties in far northeast Iowa. The high-quality sand is used in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking opened vast new gas and oil resources across the country, but it has raised its own environmental concerns.

The report also warns against the state stripping local governments’ control over mining regulation, as has happened in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As study co-author David Osterberg said: “We don’t want to have the state coming in and preempting and taking away local control, because the locals have shown they’re really very responsible in how they’re addressing this.”

To learn more about silica sand mining and fracking, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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