Minnesota Releases Plan for Regulating Silica Sand Projects

The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) released a document called the “Tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects.”

The document was developed in response to a 2013 directive to the EQB from the Minnesota legislature to develop model standards and criteria to assist local governments in developing ordinances for regulating the mining, processing and transporting of silica sand.

“This toolbox is one of many state resources that local governments can draw from as they address concerns that arise on the topic of silica sand mining,” said Will Seuffert, executive director of the EQB.

The EQB met in Rochester, Minn., on March 19 to review the document. This final draft incorporates input gathered over a six-month period that included both written comments and feedback from public meetings.

Dave Frederickson, chairman of the EQB, said, “We are pleased that so many members of the public took time to comment on this draft of the model standards and we would like to thank them for their thoughtful comments throughout the process.”

In addition to the tools outlined in the document, the EQB has established a Technical Assistance Team to provide assistance with issues arising from these mining and processing operations and maintains an online library of ordinances and permits for reference by local governments.

The draft of the “Tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects” can be found on the EQB website.

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