Posted: Tuesday, 10 July 2012 4:59PM
Republican Senator John Howe of Red Wing sent a letter Monday to Gov. Mark Dayton asking that the state conduct a Generic Environmental Impact Statement to help local counties identify and address health and safety concerns related to silica mining.
Howe, who represents three of the five counties in the state that have adopted moratoriums on silica mining, has asked that the state provide up to $1 million to the Environmental Quality Board to conduct the GEIS.
In the event that Dayton calls a special session, Howe hopes his request will be one of the items discussed.
According to the Post-Bulletin, Minnesota has just five silica sand mines in operation, but roughly a dozen new sites have been discussed in southeast Minnesota since early 2011.