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Minnesota agencies roll out silica sand website
St. Paul, Minn. -- With growing numbers of people across Minnesota taking an interest in the mining and processing of silica sand, commonly called “frac” sand, a group of state agencies have put together a new website for Minnesotans who want to track their activities. In particular, the website will help people interested in what the state is doing to develop new state rules for managing and permitting silica sand projects.
The website, silicasand.mn.gov, provides links to each of the state agencies charged with making new rules or managing activities involved with the mining, transportation and processing of silica sand. They include the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Pollution Control Agency (PCA), Department of Health, Department of Transportation, and Department of Agriculture.
“The growth of frac sand mining in Minnesota has presented complex environmental and economic issues,” Dave Frederickson, chair of the EQB and commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, said. “Governor Dayton is directing our agencies to work closely together to streamline the details of our efforts on behalf of Minnesotans.”
The agencies named to do rulemaking in the legislation are the EQB, DNR and PCA. The other agencies don’t have specific rule responsibilities but were included in the new website because they are closely tied with some issues in the silica sand industry.
The agencies have different timelines for completing their mandates under the law. EQB, DNR and PCA published notice of intent to conduct rulemaking in the July 22, 2013, “Minnesota State Register”.
Minnesotans interested in tracking the rulemaking may visit silicasand.mn.gov for public notices, notices of public meetings that eventually will be scheduled, and links to the activities of all the agencies.