MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Dozens of members of a picturesque Minnesota community fought a proposal Monday night to bring a mine to their town.

Windsor Permian, an oil and gas company out of Oklahoma, wants to drill for high-quality sand (silica) near Red Wing, Minn. The special “frack” sand near the bluffs helps crews get fuel from underground rock, but the process to get the sand has neighbors worried.

Red Wing Real Estate agent Mark McCaughty says buyers don’t usually ask for a sand fracking mine when they want to buy a house.

“There’s going to be silica dust probably floating into the community. It’s just too close to Red Wing,” he said.

He and close to a 100 people, who call themselves the Save the Bluffs Committee, agreed, signing petitions and attempting to encourage the Red Wing City Council to speak up to commissioners next week.

Dr. Karen DeLuca says she started researching the effects of silica mining when Windsor Permian purchased the land south and west of Red Wing earlier this year.

She was at the meeting Monday night.

“What we’re asking is for a one year moratorium to look at this whole issue,” she said. “I understand we need this sand to do frack mining to get natural gas, but where they want to do it is wrong.”

Windsor Permian said that “the country needs high quality sand to develop our domestic oil resources.”

The company is already fracking across the Mississippi in Wisconsin, and the people there say it’s not so bad.

Arnold Johnson of Maiden Rock, Wis., says he can’t say anything against the company.

“When they started out there years ago … there was a different manager, and of course it was dusty,” he said. “But that’s all cleaned up.”

McCaughty, on the other hand, says it’s pretty terrible in Maiden Rock.

“It’s not fine over there,” he said, citing explosions, blasting and a lot of sand.

The Goodhue Planning Committee will vote on whether or not to take another year to look closer at the proposal or to allow the mining to start.

Comments (15)
  1. See BS says:

    Environmentalists are so fake, they use all the modern amenities that require energy.

    You don’t see these people living like the Amish.

    1. Mike says:

      Have you did any research on it before you opened your pie hole? Of course not. Google fracking problems. Across the country. It has caused serious environmental problems in communities drinking water, air quality and standards of living. Your lack of reasoning and understanding most issues and supporting one sided ideological arguments is blind ignorance.

  2. JUST ME says:

    wow more stupid people this state this country need JOBS JOBS JOBS ATALL COST you dont see what is in front of you keep sending jobs to other states and countrys this entire nation will fail!!!!!!!!!!
    as we speak over 150,000 good jobs in Ireland ( that were once in the USA ) because of over regulation and high taxes
    keep it up and we aill all fail

    1. MIke says:

      We need people to clean Nuclear power plant spills and leaks too. Are you going to be the first in line when that happens, or are you like most conservative patriots who commend others for military service when they did everything in there power to avoid it themselves? As I said above, educate yourself on the consequences of fracking before you commit to doing something that causes more harm than good.

      1. Fureal says:

        Well said Mike DITTO!

      2. Jake says:

        Actually, I know a lot of “conservative patriots” who have served and are currently serving. Seems pretty inconsiderate to imply that all folks of a conservative bent are hypocritical that way. By the same token, I only know a handful of folks who consider themselves politically liberal (but to be sure, there are some) that currently serve despite the fact that the Left is cool with sending our military to prevent humanitarian abuses, like in the Balkans, or to stop Nazis and stuff like that

  3. Spencer D. Jones says:

    I seen a news report on it last night. From what they wanted was to just dig the sand. The folks in Wisconsin that were interviewed said that it didn’ t bother them at all. So it’s basically a few that are blocking the way of some locals from the area working in the pit. Why is that?? Why would you want to stop something that will help your tax base, and give some Men a good “Job”???
    I hear the term “Eneregy Independance” all the time; however why do the ones that preach it the most. Stop every thing it takes to become “Independent”??
    I was a Logger for 15 yrs in the NW. The enviro’s all the time beraided us for what we did; however like mentioned, they used tons of paper for their fliers and documents. They also liked to wipe their backsides with the paper we provided them. I hate the hipocracy of their ways. Use the resourse, but kill the job, and the way of life for the ones that provide it for you. We should of let them not wipe their A**’s for a month. Then they’d have been sing’n a different tune. I bet, the same would be here if their home heatting cost quadrupled.

    1. Michelle says:

      Spencer, I live in Red Wing and have dozens of friends in Wisconsin who are directly affected by the mine over there, none of whom were interviewed. They interviewed one man and his comments do not by any means speak for everyone. It was poorly reported and you too would feel different if your water came out of the tap brown or if your house was jarred by explosions.
      Our tax base in Goodhue county is largely agricultural and also heavy on tourism. A mine, or several mines, will destroy it. Asbestos installation gave men “good jobs” and then killed them. This is no different. And Marie, it’s not that simple. Is it ok to give a few people jobs while destroying other livlihoods? Some people here have had lifelong businesses that will go under should this mine prevail. What if that business were yours? Would you have the same attitude? This is a multmillion dollar corporation stealing resources! Does no one care about what that does to an entire community??? I was at the meeting. Jake was there on his own accord. NO cutting and pasting.

  4. Beth says:

    Silica dust is classified as a human lung carcinogen. Specifically, it will lead to a build up of scar tissue in your lungs so that you are unable to breathe (silicosis). For people living in an area with silica mining that are exposed to low levels of silica dust, they may take 15 or 20 years to see these health problems develop. Is the mining company going to pay for their health care costs when we have entire communities that have lung damage?

  5. Marie says:

    Do not complain that there are no jobs and then protest when someone wants to add jobs to your town.

  6. jan says:

    What good are jobs if you have lung cancer? Frack the frackers!

  7. Actual Local Person says:

    Which one of the people commenting are from Red Wing? Looks like cut & paste from other conversations. How did Jake make it into this conversation? Somebody cut & pasted the wrong topic?????????

  8. Jim says:

    Please understand…a weak economy, high-unemployment and desperate leaders willing to literally sacrifice their communities health, is EXACTLY what multi-national companies live for!!! I used to enjoy driving down the Wisconsin side of the river….have you seen the gashed bluffs? it’s horrific!!!!…..but hey, you voted these people into office who support all this (their funding base) hope your happy….

  9. Respiration Addict says:

    I live one half mile from the proposed site. My biggest concerns are groundwater and air quality. There simply is not enough information, at this time, to approve a permit. This company appears “slippery’ to me: they purchased 155 acres; had they purchased 160 they would have needed an environmental impact study. They purchased the land (at nearly $17,000 and acre) with NO permits in place……who does that? And they have made few public comments. Research them on the internet; not much there. We have a high school and a technical college nearby and when the wind blows out of the south it will impact nearly 2,000 students and staff in those facilities alone. What really scares me is our County Commisioners are desperately trying to keep our jail operating and may see this added tax base as a means to fund that boondogle. Our prison, built several years ago, was intended to generate revenue. It has done just the opposite, at an alarming rate. (Google Goodhue County Prison for more info) And finally, not mentioned in ANY news story; State Representative Tim Kelly (R) lives right next door to the property!!…..

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