The Winona Daily News' Chris Hubbuch reports in Appeals court upholds Winona County's frac sand ban:
Winona County’s ban on industrial sand mining has been upheld by a higher court.
In a published opinion released Monday, the state Court of Appeals affirmed a county judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit from a company that challenged the legality of the ordinance and said it stood to lose up to $5.8 billion as a result. . . .
Minnesota Sands and a group of landowners argued that the 2016 mining ordinance violates their constitutional rights by singling out sand used for industrial purposes while allowing mining for construction uses.
The ordinance does not violate the federal Commerce Clause “because it does not favor in-state interests over out-of-state interests,” the appeals panel wrote. “On the contrary, it even-handedly bans all industrial mineral mining, which includes silica-sand mining, within the county.”
The court further ruled that the ordinance does not constitute a “taking” because Minnesota Sands did not apply for conditional use permits in the years leading up to its adoption. . . .
Read the rest at the Daily News.
Here's the court's decision:
Minnesota Court of Appeals decision affirming Winona Co frac sand ordinance uploaded by Sally Jo Sorensen on Scribd
Although the Land Stewardship Project did not have standing in the court case, the ruling marks yet another victory for local people who worked with the group to retain farmland over fracland in the lovely driftless area of Southeastern Minnesota. The ban was enabled by legislation
Bluestem began posting in 2011 about the issues related to large scale silica sand mining in Minnesota. We posted about the original court ruling last year in With prejudice! MN District Court judge tosses corporate attack on Winona Co frac sand ban, noting:
Counties' creation of ordinances related to silica sand mining was assisted by provisions in the 2013 Omnibus environment, natural resources, and agriculture finance and policy bill.
Photo: LSP led a vigorous campaign for the ordinance. Yard signs popped like shaggy manes on lawns across the county. Photo via Winona Daily News.
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