Frac Sand Mining Moratorium 27 Feb 13

A controversial one-year moratorium has been added to a bill designed to regulate “frac sand” mining, which some say is threatening air and water quality. Republican State Senator Julie Rosen of Fairmont objects to the moratorium and the signal she says it sends, saying that this is agriculture and small business, and the message being sent out is extremely heavy-handed. Some lawmakers also fear that the moratorium could chase away employers and jobs. Others say they have an opportunity to put a process in place that works for industry and local leaders, and addresses the fears of concerned citizens. Silica sand is used to drill for oil and natural gas, but southern Minnesota residents have been complaining of noise, dust and water pollution from recent ramped-up mining.