Houston County Board considers a frac sand mining moratorium

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

Frac sand mining coming to Houston County? The jury, or in this case the Houston County Board, is still out on this decision.

But if one considers the county board’s initial reaction to a group of Houston County residents opposed to silica sand mining here, the prospects of a moratorium are good.

About 20 county residents filed into the board chambers during the Jan. 10 meeting and urged the commissioners to take a good, hard look at all the issues surrounding the mining of silica sand in Houston County.

About the time the group, led by former state Rep. Ken Tschumper and Yucatan Township resident Donna Buckbee was stating their case, the Winona County Board voted 3-2 to impose a three-month moratorium on any new mining operations.

Stating environmental issues, including water and air pollution and heavy usage of township and county roads, the group asked the commissioners to do their homework and get all the facts before permitting any silica mining operations in the county.

“I’ve been watching what’s been happening in Winona County for some time,” County Board Chairman Jack Miller said. “Anything that is an economic plus for our county is something we need to consider. But not if it is a detriment to the health of our citizens or our natural resources.

“I feel we need to step back and ask all the questions first, before we allow this in the county,” Miller added.

For the entire article, see the Jan. 18 issue of the Caledonia Argus.