From: Greg Gaut
The City Council unanimously passed an important resolution on February 18 which has not gotten the attention it deserves. Taking into account the rapid expansion of mining, processing and transporting of silica sand in Southeastern Minnesota, the council requested “immediate state action to establish and enforce state standards related to the frac sand industry.” The council said it was particularly concerned about “air quality, water quality, and infrastructure impacts.”
Things are happening on the state level. The very next day two buses of Southeastern Minnesota residents traveled to the Capitol to attend a hearing and support strong state measures to regulate the frac sand industry, including a moratorium while the standards the council desires are worked out. Then on February 22, Matt Schmidt, the state senator from Red Wing, introduced a bill to establish state standards which will be considered in committee hearings on Tuesday, February 26. The Winona City Council specifically and by name called on our elected representatives, Sen. Jeremy Miller and Rep. Gene Pelowski, to respond to the call for state regulation of the frac sand industry. I hope they are listening to the City Council. Their best response would be strong support of Matt Schmidt’s bill.