Wondering what's happening with frac sand mining in Houston County?
It's open season.
At the historic public hearing on February 18, 2015, 92% of the public testified in favor of a prohibition of frac sand mining. Following testimony, the board voted unanimously to limit sand mined in the county to agricultural and construction sand (watch video here).
The following week, Commissioners Walter, Storlie and Schuldt did a complete reversal, leaving the entire county open to frac sand mining.
What effect did this have after over three years of work? The County Board did exactly nothing, leaving the entire county completely vulnerable.
The mineral extraction ordinance currently in effect is the one that has been in effect for decades.
Even if the county enforced the ordinance (they do not), the entire county would be vulnerable to the serious negative impacts of frac sand mining on the health, safety and well being of the public.
The amendment recommended by the Planing Commission would make the situation worse, allowing an unlimited number of 20-acre mines, and actually weakening regulations on all 118 or so "grandfathered" mines. Grandfathered mines (also called nonconforming mines) are mines operating without a permit.