Schmit says the legislation calls for a state-wide generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) to address a number of unanswered questions plaguing the local permitting process.
Schmit says the study would examine, among other questions, certain adverse water, air, transportation and economic impacts caused by sand mining.
Schmit says it also takes a regional approach would allow for a broader view of sand mining impacts, including neighboring states.
The proposed legislation also creates a technical and scientific advisory team comprised of state agency experts that would be made available to local governments as they weigh the benefits and risks of various permit applications.
It would also provide local governments with certain taxing powers to help recoup the full costs of a potentially expanded sand mining industry in the region.
Local governments would be given the authority to extend local moratoriams while the GEIS and regional silica sand board proceed.