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.
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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.

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"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.