Senator Jeremy Miller of Winona has co-authored bipartisan legislation that will provide assistance and guidance for local governments as they set guidelines for silica sand mining. Senate File 1257 was introduced in the Senate on Monday, March 11, 2013. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by many southern Minnesota legislators, including Senator Matt Schmit, D-Red Wing, Senator Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, Senator Kathy Sheran, D-Mankato, and Representatives Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, and Mike Benson, R-Rochester.
“There has been a great deal of activity surrounding industrial sand mining in our part of the state,” Miller said, “I believe we need to protect the well-being of our citizens, natural resources, infrastructure and small communities, while still encouraging job growth and economic development opportunities.”
Senate File 1257 will create a Silica Sand Technical Advisory Council to provide assistance and guidance for local governments as they set local guidelines for silica sand mining. The council will be composed of agency representatives from the Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and the Departments of Health and Transportation. The council will be required to create a report on local government ordinances and permits that have been approved for regulation of silica sand projects to use as a reference document for local governments to develop local ordinances. This legislation also calls for the council to assist local government in the establishment of local ordinances.
Senate File 1257 is the companion to House File 1367, which also has bipartisan support.