A large group of St. Charles area residents is asking the Winona County Board of Commissioners to delay action on the county's first frac sand mining permit application until after a September 19th meeting of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.
550 residents have signed a petition in opposition to the former Farm-2-Rail proposal to construct a sand washing plant east of St. Charles and rail spurs to gain access to it. Now, in an August 22nd letter, the group wants a conditional use permit, for the county's first sand mine south of St. Charles in Saratoga Township, delayed.
That permit was recommended for approval by the County Planning Commission last week and will be considered by the board on February 3rd. County Planning and Environmental Services Director Jason Gilman said earlier the 60 day time limit for the board to take action on the permit ends September 18th.
On September 19th, the EQB is scheduled to address a petition to establish a Generic Environmental Impact Statement on sand mines in the state which the St. Charles group would like to see conducted on the Winona county mine The St. Charles group is asking the County Board to delay action the first sand mining permit until after that EQB meeting...but the board may be forced to take action before the September 18th, 60-day time limit is up, or that permit could automatically be approved.
The County Board will consider the St. Charles group's letter next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. during its regular meeting at theGovernment Center.