The Land Stewardship Project has sent out an action alert about the next step facing language in Senate File 796 protecting southeast Minnesota trout streams from frac sand mining and processing. LSP has been working with Trout Unlimited to carry the water for the prized game fish in southeastern Minnesota.
The bill may be heard in the Senate Environment Finance Committeeas early as Wednesday, April 24.
From LSP's website:
SF 796 is the Omnibus Game and Fish Policy Bill and Sen. Schmit is the author. The provisions in the bill say that in southeast Minnesota:
• No frac sand mining is allowed within a mile of any spring, groundwater seepage area, fen, designated trout stream, class 2a water or any tributary of class 2a water or designate trout stream.
• The DNR cannot issue groundwater appropriation permits for frac sand-related activity, including frac sand processing.
• Mining frac sand within 25 feet of the water table is prohibited.
The bill applies these provisions in an area defined by the DNR as the Paleozoic Plateau (222) Ecological Section. This area generally encompasses Minnesota's five southeast counties. A detailed map is on the DNR’s website HERE.
These provisions protecting trout streams would help dramatically in limiting the harm frac sand mining can do in southeast Minnesota and would go into effect immediately. As reported in a Rochester Post-Bulletin article, Gov. Mark Dayton has weighed in against supporting a moratorium at this time. Without a moratorium, we need standards in place NOW before any more frac sand mines or processing facilities are established in southeast Minnesota. The provisions in Senate File 796 are a good step in that direction.
LSP and Trout Unlimited provide recommended action steps. Check them out here and act.
Photo: A trout caught in a Southeastern Minnesota trout stream.
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