From: Marie Kovecsi
Our senator, Jeremy Miller, representing all of Southeast Minnesota, recently voted against protection of our area trout streams. The amendment would have created a setback for trout streams to protect these unique natural resources from effects from mining by the frac sand industry. These streams are here because of our natural karst and geological formations. These formations are not present in other parts of our state and represent jobs, revenues and recreation for our citizens, all in a clean environment. The trout streams are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment, particularly water temperature changes. Doesn’t it make more sense to protect a clean resource of jobs, taxes and business income than to gamble on an industry of outside interests and an unsavory environmental record? (See the Wisconsin DNR and news reports of mud spills, high water usage, etc).
According to the April 30, 2013, news report on KARE-11 TV, our State DNR Commissioner, Tom Landwehr, testified in favor of this amendment, saying that “There are no state protections for trout streams... The DNR claims a stone quarry in Fillmore County has negatively impacted groundwater, causing a water temperature increase.” See: http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1023999/391/Bill-to-distant-frac-sand-mining-from-Minn-streams-fails
I am deeply disappointed that Sen. Miller thought a vote with outside industry interests was more important than a vote for an established industry that depends on a clean environment. The trout fishing industry brings tourists and revenues of around a billion dollars into our area. The DNR Commissioner spoke in favor of this amendment and Trout Unlimited supported it as well as environmentalists concerned about our water and health. Protecting our natural resources and protecting a clean, proven industry in Southeast Minnesota seems like it should be a first priority for our own Senator. Can Senator Miller please explain this critically important vote to his constituents?