April 21st, 2011
There was a meeting at the Red Wing library Monday night about the rumored fracking sand mine south of Re d Wing, and just north of Hay Creek. By the time the meeting was underway, it was standing room only.
The article from the Red Wing Republican Beagle is down below.
Here’s a post with some details of this project to be:
Goodhue County’s Article 14 covers mining, but so far it’s been aggregate, and not silica, and it’s a different process, whole different sort of mining, so my thought is that Article 14 needs some amendments. A ordinance change application is just $500 and some work to draft language…
Here’s a map — the site is on the left, and the transfer station in Florence Twp. is on the right, a railroad spur west of Hwy 61 near Hanson’s Harbor:
More than 100 citizens filled a Red Wing Public Library meeting room to learn what they can do about preventing silica sand from being mined across 155 acres in Hay Creek Township just two miles south of Red Wing.
Windsor Permian, part of the Oklahoma-based Windsor Energy, bought the land for $2.6 million earlier this year, and although it’s unknown what the company will do with the land, many citizens fear it will be used to mine silica sand.
Windsor Permian has already drilled exploratory wells, which can be done without a permit, but the company has not turned in any kind of application to Goodhue County for a permit allowing the mining of silica sand.
“Let’s be realistic though, nobody pays $2.6 million for topsoil,” said Goodhue County Commissioner Jim Bryant, who helped answer questions from the public at the meeting. He lives in Hay Creek Township.
If an application is turned in, the county is bound by state statute to make a decision about the permit within 60 days, unless an environmental assessment worksheet is needed. An EAW will be necessary if the aggregate mining operation is expected to exceed 40 acres in size to a mean depth of 10 feet.
The public also asked if a permit is allowed with certain conditions listed, who would enforce them? For example, if an aggregate tax is required, Windsor Permian would have to report exactly how much sand it is taking out, but citizens at the meeting seemed hesitant to believe the required reporting would be enforced.
For more info on the other end of the process, what they use the sand for (fracking) and to learn about what they’re doing with proppants:
In the New York Times (very interesting to learn that instant coffee is used!!!):
And here’s how bad it’s gotten in Pennsylvania: