An upcoming environmental review of the biggest frac sand mining project ever proposed in southeast Minnesota must not only examine impacts on air, water and economics, but should also require full disclosure of the proposers' business ties and track record, says a new report released by the Land Stewardship Project .
The People's EIS Scoping Report says such a review must also be conducted by independent experts with no ties to the proposers or the frac sand industry in general.The report was compiled by LSP from the comments of the 100 participants in the People's EIS Kickoff Meeting held in Rushford in July.
The report addresses the necessary scope and depth of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) soon to be underway on the frac sand mining project proposed by Minnesota Sands, LLC. This proposal calls for the development of 11 mine sites in Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties.
Under Minnesota law, an EIS must consider not only the environmental impacts of a project, but also its economic, employment and sociological effects. This level of review is mandatory for the Minnesota Sands project, since it includes the proposed mining of 615.31 total acres, well over the threshold of 160 acres for which an EIS is required.
The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is the state agency responsible for carrying out the EIS on the Minnesota Sands project. The EQB has not yet released any draft scoping document detailing the particular impacts it proposes to study within the EIS.
On Wednesday, (Sept. 18,) Land Stewardship Project members from southeast Minnesota will present copies of the People's EIS Scoping Report to the members and staff of the EQB at its monthly meeting in St. Paul.
Copies will also be given to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton as well as other state and local officials.