The bill doesn't include a moratorium while the proposed Generic Environmental Impact Statement is prepared, although ECM Capitol reporter T.M.Budig reported on February 20 that Senate Environment and Energy Policy Committee chair John Marty is open to the imposition while frac sand mining are studied.
Initial analysis of the bill by Land Stewardship Project discusses the ramifications of conducting a GEIS without a moratorium, while pointing out another potential pitfall:
Creation of a Southeastern Minnesota Silica Sand Board. The board is comprised of county commissioners from 18 counties. The board would create a “model ordinance.” If counties and cities adopt this ordinance, then they get increased taxing authority on frac sand operations. However, there is no guarantee that this “model ordinance” will be adequate. The increased tax revenues, in fact, may create an incentive to allow more frac sand mining. LSP’s initial assessment is that this is bad idea. We should instead focus on creating a strong state level pollution permit with a moratorium in place until that is created.
It's an interesting question in a time of revenue-strapped local governments. Land Stewardship is urging members and friends to contact the senate committee members and attention tomorrow's committee meeting:
Attend the Senate Environment and Energy Policy Committee hearing on Senate File 786 on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at noon in Room 15 of the Capitol. We will gather in Room 107 of the Capitol at 11 a.m. for an update and to talk through strategy . Be there in support of adding a moratorium and direct language calling for a pollution control permit to the bill. To testify, contact the committee administrator Barb Jacobs at (651) 296-296 or email@example.com.
The group will be providing bus service to the capitol for Southeast Minnesotans.
In Winona tonight, Land Stewardship Project, Izaak Walton League--Will Dilg Chapter, Concerned Citizens for St. Charles and Winona Area Citizens Concerned about Silica Mining will host a Frac Sand Public Informational Meeting:
- Saint Mary's University, Figulio Recital Hall (page Theatre), 700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987-1399
Google Map »
- RSVP to Doug Nopar, LSP, 507-523-3366
Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Wayne Feyereisn will discuss issues related to health concerns from silica sand dust and diesel exhaust.
• Likely frac sand truck routes into Winona from mines being considered in Winona, Fillmore and Houston counties.
• The potential concentration of frac sand transport, mining and processing activity within one mile of St. Mary’s University.
• Update on the MN Proppant frac sand facility proposed for St. Charles (if approved, this would be the largest frac sand facility in the U.S.).
Photo: Winonans protesting frac sand mining.
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