A Winona businessman told the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board that a generic environmental impact statement on silica sand mining in the state might stymie the development of more jobs.
According to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Mikrut was one of several people who testified before the EQB Wednesday and said he was opposed to the generic EIS.
Winona Chamber of Commerce President Della Schmidt said the chamber strongly supports developing the frac sand mining industry. She testified that trucking the sand in downtown Winona would not have that big an impact because thousands of trucks come in to the city already to serve other industries.
Many of those testfying said the frac sand mining industry would be a boom to local economies and they fear a generic environmental impact statement would dampen the expansion and send more jobs to Wisconsin. Only the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce testified in favor of the study saying the industry might overshadow the tourism industry there.
The Environmental Quality Board took no action on the study Wednesday. Executive Director Bob Patton said it has only required two generic environmental impact studies in the last 20 years...one on the timber industry and the other on agriculture feedlots..