Amid all of the emotions and comments regarding the proposed Pattison frac sand mine conditional use and reclamation permits at the Nov. 14 Bridgeport Town public hearing we may have lost sight of the main issue – regulation.
The Town of Bridgeport is facing its first frac sand mine, and it remains unclear how the majority of the town residents feel about it.
Pattison being a business and wanting to maximize its profits wants as little regulation and restrictions as possible. But this is not solely about Pattison’s needs since their activities will affect thousands of people within and outside of the community.
The responsibility of all Town officials is the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. This responsibility still lies with them even if residents do not make their wishes known. Bridgeport Township appears ready to sign onto a contract for a term of up to 60 years with no chance to adjust or make changes within that time period, and giving Pattison the bare bones of regulations. No limits on hours of operation, truck traffic, noise, lights, dust control and so on.
I hope Bridgeport Town officials are developing their own conditional use permit that would greatly reduce the impacts on their community and consider the concerns of citizens. They would be serving the best interests of their residents and property owners and not just the interests of one Iowa business and three landowners. If officials do their due diligence they will be serving their community well.
- Kathleen Byrne