News from Minnesota, Montana

  • According to Finance and Commerce, since the early 20th century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the Mississippi River annually to keep the channel open. The city of Wabasha, Minn., wants to build a barge terminal to facilitate the transfer of sand from river barges to trucks for transport to off-site facilities. It can then be used as fill material for existing sand and gravel mines or another potential reuse. The accumulation of sediment has been “a forever situation” at the location, where the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers come together, said John Friedmeyer, city council president and president of the Wabasha Port Authority. The 8.2-acre Wabasha Barge Facility would be built on a vacant, 59-acre parcel. The city would own the project site and contract out the port operations and transportation of materials.
  • According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, sand and gravel company TMC Inc. is moving forward with its application for a gravel pit, while nearby residents are lodging comments and raising concerns over the potential impacts on the local environment, traffic, water wells, air, their health and even the aesthetics of the area.  But at the crux of the issue is a recent bill that neutered the impact of those public comments, codified a county’s inability to challenge gravel pits using emergency zoning, and – according to the legislator who wrote it – is being misinterpreted by Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality.

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