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Townships look to impose their own restrictions on frac sand mining in Red Wing area

Townships in Goodhue County are talking about setting up their own restrictions to limit the mining of silica sand, which is used to help extract oil and gas from wells. Some opponents of the sand mines think the county has not done enough to keep them out.
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Townships in Goodhue County are talking about setting up their own restrictions to limit the mining of silica sand, which is used to help extract oil and gas from wells. Some opponents of the sand mines think the county has not done enough to keep them out.

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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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The energy industry is anxious to use southeastern Minnesota sands to help release petroleum deposits that conventional drilling can't reach. They've likened the mining of that sand to a gold rush. But activists concerned about the environmental effects of the sand mines want to allow time for more studies.