Iowa Law students are conducting research on the regulation of frac sand mining as part of a new CLP Pro Bono Project for Fall 2014 . Currently frac sand is not mined in northeast Iowa’s Winneshiek County, but silica sand deposits in the county are believed to be suitable for use in hydraulic fracturing. Under the supervision of the County Attorney, students are conducting research on the scope of the county’s regulatory authority under Iowa law.
The student volunteers traveled to Decorah to learn about the potential implications of frac sand mining on the community . One student said she chose to participate in the project because of the chance to work in environmental law in her home state. She also stated that it is exciting to a be part of a greater team of scientists, lawyers, and community activists investigating how frac sand mining would impact the community.
Another volunteer said, “I wanted to participate in the Winneshiek County Frac Sand Research Project because it would give me a chance to learn more about municipal, environmental, and administrative law in the best way possible – through actual application to a real world scenario. It is a unique opportunity to work on a cutting edge issue, and help a County make the most informed decision as possible for the benefit of its citizens. I chose this project because I appreciated the chance to make a meaningful impact while using the skills that we learned in law school, as well as learn new skills in the process.”