Public Hearing: Rezoning of Proposed Mine Reserve Expansion

Clayton County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing for the rezoning request to rezone land from A-1 to M-2. Pattison Sand Company on Monday, August 15th at 1pm at the County Office Building on Gunder Road.

Read the Clayton County Mine Reserve Expansion Study Committee Final Report

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Raising and Saving Monarchs Seminar

Monarch_In_May A landowner’s perspective on raising and saving the monarch butterfly. This seminar will include tips on finding and raising monarchs as well as how to preserve habitat.
Presented by: The Werheim Family
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Hope Lutheran Church
32513 Dinan Rd. LittlePort, IA
Snacks and Drinks Provided

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Clayton County Planning and Zoning Commission to meet 8/9

The Clayton County Planning and Zoning Commission meets Tuesday, 8/9/2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Clayton County Office Building.
The agenda will consist of the following items:

AGENDA

1. Call to Order

2. Approval of Minutes

3. Presentation of Mine Reserve Committee Report – Mike Finnegan and Anne Osmundson

4. Old Business –
a. Pattison Sand Company and landowner’s request to rezone land from A-1 to M-2 to mine underground, process, store and ship silica sand and it’s by product all underground

5. Public Comment Period for items not on the agenda. Please limit comments to 3 minutes

6. Other Business

7. Board Comments

8. Staff Comments

9. Adjourn

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NRCS Rainfall Simulator Video

Watch this video for an excellent demonstration of how valuable rooted vegetation is for preserving our precious topsoil.

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Grassroots awareness group rally is planned.


Say No for Now Rally Event Page

Grass roots organization ‘SAY NO FOR NOW’ is holding a meeting at 7 pm, Monday, June 6 at the Garnavillo Community Center and inviting all of those who have concerns or questions regarding a request to have an additional 746 acres rezoned from Agricultural to Heavy Industrial. Say No For Now believes that the Clayton County Board of Supervisors should vote no to this rezoning request at this time. Mine spokesman have declared they have ‘at least a 20 year supply as the mine is currently configured’ which raises the question of why there is such great urgency to get additional acreage rezoned.

Past rezoning was done without any restrictions and this has led to mining practices that have destroyed significant amounts of Mississippi River bluff and negatively impacted neighboring residents and communities. Restrictions are now being considered on the mining expansion but SAY NO FOR NOW believes that current mining practices and the results of inadequate county oversight should be addressed before mining expansion is approved.

Clayton County has fallen far behind neighboring counties in enacting and enforcing zoning ordinances based on a county comprehensive plan that considers the welfare and concerns of all county residents and taxpayers.

All of those who share similar concerns about past, current and future mining practices in Clayton County are invited to attend this event where the current status of the rezoning request, a review of mining practices and a proposal for a course of action will be presented. There will also be ample time for comments and questions from the public regarding their concerns.

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Music & Monarchs 2016 in Photos

Click on this Picture to view our album.

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KDEC interviews Gary Siegwarth about Music & Monarchs

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Music and Monarchs Festival 2016 Video AD

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4/28 Mine Reserve Study Committee meeting Subject: Air Quality

The next Mine Reserve Study Committee meeting will be held Thursday, April 28 at 5:30pm at the Clayton County office building at 600 Gunder Road NE in Elkader. The focus of this meeting is on air quality and the impact of silica sand on our health and the environment. Two guest presenters from the University of Iowa have been invited to speak and answer questions.

Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, professor in the University of Iowa College of Public Health Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, learned industry hazards firsthand.
O’Shaughnessy spent eight years as a construction worker before furthering his education in civil and environmental engineering. He now directs the UI Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety, one of 18 such centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH.)

David Osterberg’s work as a clinical professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health encompasses public policy in the fields of both environmental health and environmental quality. He teaches a seminar in environmental health policy as well as the department’s only undergraduate course, an introduction to occupational and environmental health. He specializes in research translation and community engagement for two federally funded centers, the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center and the Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP). In addition, Professor Osterberg is part of the Training Core for the ISRP.

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Silica vs Dust

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warn of the hazards of “respirable crystalline silica” – and require special masks to protect workers from the very fine, jagged crystals that are byproducts of sand mining. The crystals aren’t visible to the naked eye, but can be inhaled deep into the lungs and may cause silicosis, as well as lung cancer.

Silicosis
“Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock, and mineral ores such as quartz. It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such as mining. . . Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, which can harm your ability to breathe.”
(From the American Lung Association)

“Occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica are associated with the development of silicosis, lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, and airway diseases.”
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)

“But I live on a farm, along a gravel road . . . It’s always dusty . . .”

“Respirable crystalline silica is a much more hazardous occupational exposure than limestone dust,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The current maximum recommended exposure limit for respirable limestone is 100 times higher than for respirable crystalline silica – and OSHA has proposed further cutting the silica limit by one-half.

“Fine (smaller) particles, called PM2.5, are more dangerous because they can get into the deep parts of your lungs — or even into your blood.” (CDC)

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2002-129/
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0684.html
http://people.uwec.edu/piercech/InitialPM.pdf
http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/silicosis/overview.html
http://www.ishn.com/articles/99074-niosh-reports-on-worker-exposure-to-cr=
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3176.html

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