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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.
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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.

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Winona County passes 3-month moratorium on silica sand mining

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.

"What's the rush?": critics of frac sand mining seek moratoriums

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.

Minn. companies targeted in frac-sand spills

Wisconsin regulators are seeking civil penalties against Minnesota-based mine operators for two large sand spills, a first taste of the kind of environmental risks that accompany the gold rush of frac-sand mining underway in both states.

Two more southeast Minnesota counties approve silica sand mining moratoriums

The Rochester Post Bulletin reports both the Houston and Fillmore County Boards passed resolutions earlier this week. Goodhue, Wabasha and Winona are also among the list of counties, cities and townships concerned with the proliferation of silica sand mines.

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.

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.