Residents Seek Answers About Health Risks Near Frac Sand Mines

When Jim and Kathy Kachel moved into their home south of Bagley, Wisconsin, overlooking the Mississippi River in fall 2007, they couldn’t see the Pattison Sand Mine directly across the river in Clayton, Iowa. Since then, terraced layers of limestone carved into the northeast Iowa bluff have made way for more truck traffic as the mine, which occupies 750 acres — much of it underground — expands. Meanwhile, the Kachels have had to clean dust from their home.

Fracking in Illinois: over before it began

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources finalized fracking rule in November after a nearly year-long process. The Chicago Tribune recently reported, however, that not a single company has filed for a fracking permit in the past three months.

Reports question fracking health risks

As companies and landowners continue to settle on agreements to begin fracking, a handful of federal reports and studies have suggested fracking for gas and oil may present certain health risks.

Illinois farmers leased land ahead of newly passed fracking rules

Southern Illinois farmers and landowners have started leasing their land to major fracking companies to draw additional income. In just one southern Illinois county, Wayne County,property owners have signed more than 3,000 leases with oil and gas companies in the last two years, though some leases may not be specifically for fracking. In 2011, just 400 leases were signed, according to county clerk records.

Iowa counties stick to home to win fights over frac sand mining

A group of northeast Iowans effectively has kept large frac sand mine companies from mining silica-rich sand in their county by building a consortium that set aside politics and focused on dealing with the matter locally, instead of with state intervention.