Winona Co. closer to a frack sand mining ban

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WINONA — Winona County has taken a step toward being the first Minnesota county to ban frack sand mining.

County commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to have the county attorney draw up an ordinance that would ban all industrial mining operations in the southeastern county, including frack sand mining.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that a final vote is expected at the board’s Nov. 22 meeting.

Email newsletter signup

The sand is used in hydraulic fracturing, a method of oil production. Opponents of frack sand mining in Winona County worry about health risks, environmental problems and the volatility of the oil business. Supporters say it could create jobs and boost the economy.

There are no mine permit applications pending in the county, reflecting the currently oil industry slump.