Silica sand mining debate continues at Capitol, passes committee - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Silica sand mining debate continues at Capitol, passes committee

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC)- The debate at the Capitol continues over the issue of silica sand mining. It is the second-consecutive week of committee meetings that is bringing many people on both sides of the issue to St. Paul.

A bill authored by Red Wing DFL Senator Matt Schmit would put a state-wide moratorium on mining projects as well as institute a geological environmental impact statement on all silica sand mining sites.

Supporters on both sides spoke to the State Energy and Environment Committee about their concerns or their stories relating to silica sand mines in Minnesota.

Senator Schmit hopes he is able to bring both sides to the table and put a good bill in place.

"The challenge before us is to enable our local leaders to make good decisions and for us to be prepared for an up tick in silica sand permits as the price for silica sand increases and demand for it increases over time, which it is expected to do."

Senator Schmit's bill was passed out of the committee today but still has more committee work ahead of it before it reaches the Senate floor.

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