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 Jan. 27. 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.
Two Minnesota government agencies are in the early stages of developing new environmental rules governing the silica sand mining vital to hydraulic fracturing.
Critics of silica sand mining had hoped the Minnesota Legislature would adopt aggressive statewide rules to protect people and the environment. What finally emerged from the just-finished session, however, was a compromise that still leaves much of the authority for deciding how and whether to regulate the industry up to local governments.
Democrats in the Minnesota House and Senate are looking for new ways to collect money. If their latest plan passes, that glass of water from your kitchen faucet may be getting more expensive.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking the state Department of Justice to prosecute two silica sand mining companies for pollution violations.