City of Winona holding frac sand public hearing Monday

Winona Daily News reports the city is considering a set of restrictions for current and future facilities that handle frac sand within the city. The planning commission is proposing specific hours of operation; expectations of sand piles and designated truck routes.
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Winona Daily News reports the city is considering a set of restrictions for current and future facilities that handle frac sand within the city. The planning commission is proposing specific hours of operation; expectations of sand piles and designated truck routes.

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Mount Frac: a 40,000-ton symbol of Winona's sand debate

Winona now has six businesses that mine, process, or transport frac sand. Backers of the industry say the economic benefits are far-reaching. Detractors have trouble seeing those benefits through the dust, truck traffic, and noise they say are hurting the city's quality of life.

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About 30 people blocked the entrance to a loading terminal where semitrucks deliver frac sand to rail cars. The disruption comes on the heels of a similar protest last Thursday, the Winona Daily News reports.

City of Red Wing becomes latest to put moratorium on mining of frac sand

City leaders have approved a one-year ban on silica sand mining within the city limits, where a county moratorium does not apply. Wabasha and Goodhue Counties earlier approved similar bans as they try to figure out what effects mining could have on the area and environment.

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County commissioners in Winona are among the latest officials in southeast Minnesota to hit the pause button on frac sand mining while they study possible environmental and public health effects.

Winona County expected to vote on frac sand mining moratorium Tuesday

Several silica sand mining projects are planned or proposed in Winona County. But some residents want to slow things down to let the county consider stricter regulations to guard against environmental and health risks.