Controversy As Northeast Iowa Frac Sand Mine No. 1 In Violations Seeks To Expand

A controversial frac sand mining company that recently opened a site in Wisconsin is facing opposition to plans that would greatly expand its mine in Clayton County, Iowa. Pattison Sand Co. has requested re-zoning of 746 acres of land from agricultural to heavy industrial to expand its underground mine.

Severity Of Algae In Iowa Lakes Is On The Rise

That paint-like scum that covers some Iowa lakes every summer isn’t just gross and smelly. People, pets, and livestock coming into contact with or ingesting toxins produced by the algae are at risk to symptoms including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in high doses, liver failure.

The Science Of Iowa Lake Scum

Only certain strains of cyanobacteria can produce toxins, although they don’t always do so.

“Scientists generally agree that the cyanobacteria evolved this ability to produce toxin either as a competitive advantage or as some sort of protection,” Mary Skopec, who heads the Iowa Department of Natural Resources beach monitoring program, said.