ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Minnesota government agencies are in the early stages of developing new environmental rules governing the silica sand mining vital to hydraulic fracturing.

The Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency put out requests for comment Monday as they fashion sand mining rules. The Legislature ordered the agencies to develop regulatory standards.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: UK Variant Outbreak Linked To Youth Sports In Carver County, Officials Recommend 2-Week Pause

Southeastern Minnesota is among the high demand areas for sand used in fracking, a technology used to extract oil and natural gas in North Dakota and elsewhere.

READ MORE: More Than 1 Million Wisconsin Residents Have Been Vaccinated

Some area residents want tight environmental restrictions on the sand mining and its transport by rail, barge or truck. Industry proponents worry that Minnesota could lose out on an economic boost if government imposes too many regulations.

Both agencies say new rules are months away from completion.

MORE NEWS: Faces Of COVID: Daryl Kruger, 82, Loved His Grandkids And The MN Twins

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)