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Wabasha approves frac sand facility

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A controversial Wabasha frac sand loading and storage facility won final approval from the city and may have a temporary operation running within a few weeks.

The Winona Daily News reports Superior Sand Systems won final approval Friday an the city’s planning commission on Friday. The commission granted a conditional-use permit following months of discussion and review. Their decision was unanimous.

The city had until early February to decide on the permit, but moved ahead at the request of the company, which sought earlier approval to guarantee contracts. The company plans to construct a permanent storage and loading facility in spring.

The approval allows the company to haul some 200 truckloads of sand to the facility every day. The city will require that sand on trucks be covered during transfer. No processing of sand will be allowed to happen on site. The company will pay for a city traffic impact study that will review truck routes to and from the facility.

Residents had opposed the operation due to fears about health, safety and environmental effects to the area.

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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.