Southeast Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to meet with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton today to talk about silica sand mining.
Legislators in Senate District 21 and Senate District 28 were invited to attend. The governor is expected to discuss his position on the issue. Mining opponents have been pushing hard for a statewide Environmental Impact Statement to be done on silica sand mining and a moratorium be put in place. Red Wing Republican Rep. Tim Kelly has expressed support for such a study and possibly a temporary moratorium. Others, such as Mazeppa GOP Rep. Steve Drazkowski, oppose a the idea of a study or any other additional state regulations on the industry. He said the state already has strong regulations in place to protect the environmental and public health.
Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing, has said he plans to put forward a comprehensive bill shortly addressing the silica sand issue. He is still working out the details, but in the past he has indicated he is concerned a statewide EIS could end up taking too long. Rather, he has suggested working with state agencies to study some of the issues.