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Minnesota frac sand hearing may affect Wisconsin operations

A pile of frac sand
A pile of frac sand

ST. PAUL, MN (WSAU) - Environmental groups in Minnesota are trying to get their legislators to clamp down on sand mining. The opponents of silica sand mining plan to have two bus loads of people from southeastern Minnesota traveling to the Capitol in St. Paul for a Legislative hearing Tuesday.

Environmentalists want to convince the state’s House and Senate environment committees to impose a moratorium on new mines, processing plants and transportation facilities so that Minnesota can study the environmental and other impacts of sand mining.

Oil industry representatives will also be at the hearings. They plan to show how they can work with communities in a responsible manner.

A moratorium on new facilities would not only stop new mines in Minnesota, it would stop a processing plant planned in Wabasha, Minnesota that is intended to process and ship sand trucked in from Wisconsin.

Silica sand is in high demand by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing in western states.