The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board has released a document to help local governments develop model standards and criteria to assist in the development of ordinances for regulating the mining, processing, and transporting of silica, or frack, sand.
Called the "Tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects," the document was developed in response to a 2013 directive to the EQB from the Minnesota legislature.
The EQB will meet in Rochester on March 19th to review the document.
The final draft incorporates input gathered over a 6 month period that included both written comments and feedback from public meetings and can be found on the EQB website.
The demand for silica sand has increased in recent years because of its use in oil and natural gas extraction. Regulation of sand mining is largely under the authority of local governments and this toolbox is a resource for these entities as they develop ordinances.
Winona County currently has one operating frack sand mine in Saratoga township.