ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 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.

READ MORE: 'This Is A Test For Minnesota': Protesters Outside Governor's Mansion Call For Justice In Derek Chauvin Trial

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.

READ MORE: Police Seek Suspect In Fatal Shooting Near George Floyd Memorial

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.

MORE NEWS: As Spring Allergies Spike, Doctors Say Test For COVID As A Precaution

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)