Winona County Planning Commission holds public hearing on frac s - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Winona County Planning Commission holds public hearing on frac sand mining

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -

The debate over frac sand mining is heating up again, this time in Winona county.

While there were droves of people out there supporting the ban on frac sand mining, the issue was not as clear cut as it seemed.

Back in June, the Winona county board voted to send a ban proposal to the county planning commission after public outcry in support of the ban.
The land stewardship project held a rally before the commission's public hearing to give speeches and talk about why they wanted the ban. They say that the costs far outweigh the benefits, that it's not worth digging holes for a bit of profit.

 However those supporting the mining were local landowners who wanted to keep the right to do whatever they wanted with their land.

"So it's the whole chain from beginning to end, it's wrong for the land, for people, for rural communities," Johanna Rupprecht of the Land Stewardship Project said. "People are saying no to it like they have been for years and we're close now to being the first county to actually just ban it and say no in that legal way"

"If you move it forward, you say here are the conditions in which this entity, this mining operation, can coexist and so we've been a huge advocate of that since day one,  that you don't need to ban it, you can regulate it," Dennis Egan, Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, said.

The purpose of the public hearing was for commissioners to hear opinions on the matter and compile it to make a decision on how to move on. They have 60 days to make that decision, but until then they'll continue receiving written statements from the public.

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