Houston County is facing a test of its one year moratorium on frack sand mining from an existing sand mine intent on removing large amounts of frack sand and establishing a sand washing operation.
The Caledonia Argus says the operation, located south of Rushford near the Houston-Fillmore County line, has been in operation for 20 years supplying sand for area road projects. Now a company called Minnesota Sand wants to remove about two million cubic yards in the 19 acre sand mine before the end of this year. In addition, the company has applied to the Department of Natural Resources for a permit to drill a well at the site and remove up to 84 million gallons of water for a sand washing operation.
The existing sand mine has been granted five-year extensions since its approval in 1992 with the current extension expiring at the end of this year. Under the plan, the sand would be hauled via Highway 16 to Highway 43 through Rushford, and on to Winona County officials said the number of trucks doing the hauling could approach 100,000 by the end of this year.