A spokesman for Governor Mark Dayton says the governor cannot unilaterly impose his own moratorium on frack sand mining in southeastern Minnesota.
Press Secretary Matt Swenson responded to the 6,000 signature petition presented to the governor Tuesday calling for a two-year moratorium.
However, Land Stewardship Project spokesperson, Johanna Rupprect, said past governors have used something called the Critical Areas Act to protect the environment without the need for legislation.
Swenson said local jurisdictions, such as counties, cities, and townships, have authority under existing Minnesota Statutes to declare moratoriums on frack sand mining and processing within their jurisdictions. Citizens living in those areas should urge those local officials to enact the measures they favor.
Rupprecht said while there is just one permitted sand mine in Winona County in Saratoga Township, at least two others are awaiting the completion of an environmental review...and that's why her group is seeking the two-year moratorium.