Company abandons quest to export water to northeast Iowa

Pattison Sand asked to send water to Jordan Aquifer in the west

DES MOINES – A mining company in northeast Iowa has halted efforts to secure state permission to draw millions of gallons of water from Iowa’s Jordan Aquifer for the export to western states.

Clayton’s Pattison Sand Company has informed officials at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals that it is seeking a dismissal of its appeal of a state Department of Natural Resources decision denying its permit application. State administrative law judge Joseph Ferrentino agreed to dismiss the appeal on September 23 after lawyers for the Iowa DNR did not object to the dismissal motion.

Last year, the Clayton County silica sand mining company offered to drill a new well near the Mississippi River, load water into tank cars, and sell it to a company in the ‘Oregon called the Water Train, which supplies drought-affected communities in New Mexico, Colorado. , Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona, states permit application.

Iowa DNR officials denied the request on the grounds that it lacked information required by state law. Pattison appealed the agency’s claim that the application was incomplete. According to the agency, Iowa DNR officials did not deny the company a permit but were unable to assess the claim on the merits due to lack of information.

Pattison founder Kyle Pattison – who did not respond to the request for comment on Friday – told the Iowa DNR in a 2020 request that the millions of gallons of water that would be taken by the company and sent to the west would not deplete Iowa’s groundwater supply because the aquifer at that point empties into the Mississippi River.

The company requested a waiver of a legal requirement that permit applications indicate how water extracted from underground aquifers would be used for beneficial purposes. The state refused the waiver.

Wally Taylor of the Sierra Club of Iowa, who opposed the project, said the company requested in November 2020 that the appeal be suspended for a year before asking for the dismissal this fall.

Taylor said Sierra Club were happy with the result, adding “we don’t get a lot of wins, but this was one.”

Taylor expressed concern that “the Jordan aquifer is not recharging as quickly as it should be anyway, so it was of great concern that Pattison removed millions of gallons of water from it. the aquifer, “which supplies drinking water to much of Iowa and other Midwestern states.

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Joseph D. Whitman