While the Erickson silica sand mine was granted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the Houston County Board last month, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has determined that the operation's permit had lapsed.
Because of that lapse, the operation will be required to apply for a trout stream setback permit as required by the frac sand compromise legislation passed by the Minnesota legislature in 2013. The permit system was created as an alternative to putting all areas within a mile of trout streams off limits to sand mining, the Star Tribune reported at the time.
Existing operations were grandfathered in, but the Erickson mine's permit situation grew murky after the owners attempted to become part of a larger system of sand mines proposed by the Minnesota Sands project. They has since severed the connection.
According to the letter, the Erickson mine is located within a mile of Frendale Brook, a designated trout stream. The stream's designation is included in Minnesota's administrative rules.
The stream is home to brook and brown trout, according to the Minnesota DNR.
Here's the letter:
Screenshot: Map of Ferndale Brook and other trout streams. Ferndale Brook is in the lower left hand corner of the image.. via DNR.
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