UPDATE: Houston County Board rejects frac sand mining ban - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Houston County Board rejects frac sand mining ban

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At a contentious meeting Tuesday, the Houston County Board voted 3-2 against adding a ban to the county's mining ordinance At a contentious meeting Tuesday, the Houston County Board voted 3-2 against adding a ban to the county's mining ordinance
CALEDONIA, Minn. (KTTC/AP) -- The Houston County Board voted 3-2 on Tuesday against adding a ban to the county's frac sand mining ordinance, and against an ordinance that would regulate the industry, which supplies sand that's used by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing.

NewsCenter's Mike Sullivan reports the meeting became heated as numerous residents were removed for outbursts and clapping.

The outcome was an abrupt about-face from the board's 5-0 vote last month to give preliminary approval to the ban. In February, more than 150 Houston County residents shared their opinions on frac sand mining at a public meeting. According to the commissioners, 92 percent of the residents were in favor of a frac sand mining ban.

Sand mining opponents cite health concerns and fears of damage to the region's groundwater and scenic bluffs. The meeting got so heated that deputies removed some people for disruptive behavior.

Houston County's three-year moratorium on silica sand mining expires Thursday, but it no pending projects or permits at the moment.

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