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Legislature to require DNR approval for frac sand mining in Minn.

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An environment budget bill passed by the Legislature Saturday night will require companies that want to mine frac sand to get approval from the Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the new legislation stops short of what some were seeking. Some opponents of silica sand mining wanted the Legislature to ban it or forbid mining near trout streams.

Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL- Minneapolis) said the permit process will ensure that the push to mine the sand does not harm the environment.

"In order to get a permit, you're going to have to figure out whether you're going to disturb somebody's private well, are you going to disturb a municipal or are you going to disturb a trout stream," she said. "If you are, the commissioner has the authority to say no."

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