Frac sand ban is good for everyone in Winona County


(5/23/2018)

From: Barb Nelson
Lewiston

I have a question for Minnesota Sands: What part of “no” don’t you understand, really? The whole county has said no to frac sand mining. I don’t understand why they’re persisting when the public has said no. The decision that the commissioners made was for the good of the entire county. It was supported legally and by public opinion. The district court said no; the county made the right decision. Judge Leahy basically said the frac sand side didn’t have a leg to stand on.

At this point, at least a year and a half after the ban was passed, the industry isn’t gaining support. The people opposing it are. I haven’t heard anybody say they’re supporting the frac sand industry. I’ve heard only positive things about how people are happy we’ve got the ban. I have had more people come to me to tell me of the support that they have for the ban — that the decision made by the county was the right one. I’ve never had one person come to me say it was unfair they weren’t able to do frac sand mining.

Personally, it’s been such a relief to know the right decision was made to keep the county safe. It was hard earned. But the fact that Minnesota Sands keeps trying to take away the ban makes it feel like the wolf is always at the door.

For one business to gain, when the vast majority of the county loses, seems unfair to me. In the community we balance our individual needs with the needs of the group. I’ve learned in my lifetime that I need to consider other people’s needs along with my own. Does Minnesota Sands need the money enough to put everyone’s health and well being in jeopardy?

From the time I was little I understood that rules are usually made for the good of all. I think about how in school we all abided by the rules because they were for the good of everyone. That’s the way I was raised. You behave because ultimately it’s good for you.
The ban is good for anyone who lives here because even if you think you want to make money from frac sand mining, that doesn’t mean you don’t need good water and clean air like everyone else. The health and well being of all is connected to the quality of the land, water, and air. Quality of life is also important for everyone. The only gain for Minnesota Sands is money. The loss we’ll feel is something that can’t be replaced by money. We can’t get good air again after it’s gone for money, or clean water. We can’t get our safety back for money.

The commissioners who passed the ban care about Winona County. They made the right choice. They have Winona County’s best interests in mind. They have their constituents’ health and welfare in mind.

Some people will say to me, what’s the use of fighting something like frac sand mining. They’ll say, you can’t do anything so forget about it. I can’t do that. I keep thinking if we all continue to work hard to make things good for Winona County, and help people like our county commissioners understand and make the right decisions, in the end we’ll all prosper.

 

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