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Iowa Company Refuses to Withdraw Permit Application

An Iowa company pursuing a frac sand mine within the protected Lower Wisconsin State Riverway has no intention of withdrawing its application, despite being urged to do so by the board that oversees development within the corridor, according to The Cap Times.

“Pattison Sand Co. owes it to our customers, employees and the land owners to move forward with the project,” said Beth Regan, spokeswoman for the Clayton, Iowa-based firm. “We cannot withdraw our request now. Too much work has gone into the project."

Existing rules allow nonmetallic mining within the 92-mile riverway corridor as long as the operation is not visible from the river itself, although there is some ambiguity regarding those rules as it pertains to an industrial mine.

The Riverway Board sent a letter to Pattison, saying the number of trucks moving in and out of the mine site on Wisconsin 60 would detract from the riverway.

When at full operation, the proposed sand mine could send up to 120 trucks a day west on Highway 60 from the mine site headed to Pattison’s processing facility on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. The processed sand would be shipped out of state via rail cars for use in hydraulic fracturing.

No timetable for action on the permit application has been set by the Riverway Board. The town of Bridgeport also is reviewing the mining proposal for compliance but has also not reached a decision.