2 Minn. agencies seek input as they begin crafting rules on silica sand mining for fracking

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 22, 2013 - 10:25 AM
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Frac sand pile in Winona, Minn.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — 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.

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.

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.

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