Permit for Wabasha frac sand hub will be laden with conditions

  • Blog Post by: Tony Kennedy
  • December 20, 2012 - 11:59 AM


While the City of Wabasha voted this week to deny local citizens an independent environmental review of what will be the state's largest dedicated truck-to-rail hub for frac sand, officials in the town of 2,500 are still working to attach restrictions to the facility that are designed to protect air quality, traffic flows, noise and quality of life.


It's still a work in progress, but the city has released five pages of proposed restrictions for the facility, which will move 1.2 million tons of frac sand per year to oil and gas "fracking'' wells in North Dakota and Texas. The sand will be mined in Buffalo County, Wisc., and possibly Minnesota.

  • The company, Superior Sand Systems Inc. of Alberta, Canada, must control silica sand dust at or below levels acceptable to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
  • Air monitoring will be funded by the company.
  • The company must keep noise at or below MPCA-accepted levels.
  • Daily truck trips capped at 400 per day.
  • Sand in trucks and rail cars must be kept covered.
  • The company must pay for a traffic impact study, stick to recommended routes and pay for any necessary road improvements.
  • All conditions of the eventual Conditional Use Permit will be subject to city verification.

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