Bluestem has been following the Goodhue County controversy over a potential silica sand mine near Red Wing; the sand would be used for "fracking" shale to extract natural gas. Now the issue has trickled to another county.
One in the heart of Drazistan.
The Winona Daily News reports in Wabasha County puts moratorium on frac sand mines:
Wabasha County put a moratorium this week on all new mining operations, a move primarily related to recent interest in mining silica sand - also known as frac sand - in the county.
The moratorium, which could last up to a year, is a way of "avoiding potential damage to the county," said David Johnson, the Wabasha County administrator.
The Board of Commissioners approved the moratorium Tuesday after the county received interest from private parties in starting sand mines. The mines collect silica sand, which is then used in hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly popular process to extract natural gas and oil from the earth.
Wabasha and Goodhue aren't the only potential sites for frank sand mines. From the article:
Wabasha County isn't the only county that's received interest in frac sand mining. There are currently five active or approved mines in Trempealeau County. Four more applications are on the Aug. 10 agenda, with three new applications to be considered Sept. 14.