A state board has extended the comment period on proposed standards for regulating Minnesota's sand mining industry.
The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board on Monday extended the comment period by two weeks, to January 27th.
Speakers at the first public hearing on the proposed standards this month had asked the board to extend the 30-day public comment period. They said the holidays gave them too little time to prepare detailed written responses.
The nonbinding guidelines are meant to provide local governments with tools to help them regulate silica sand projects, including mines, processing facilities and transportation hubs.
The silica sand mining industry has boomed in recent years because it provides a critical component that oil and gas drillers use for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Winona County has one operating silica sand mine in Saratoga Township.