Local governments need to get involved in the development of frac sand mining Standards and Criteria, and once the state develops them, local governments must ADOPT them and incorporate them into their ordinance in order for the Standards and Criteria to apply.

The frac sand mining bill passed last year required that the Environmental Quality Board develop Standards and Criteria, in specific categories, for silica sand mining, processing and transportation by October 1 2013, that the Board SHALL develop, “in consultation with local units of government,” the standards and criteria, and then… HERE’S THE CATCH:

These standards and criteria may be used by local units of government in developing local ordinances.

“MAY” … not SHALL.

Our job: Push local governments to “consult” and to adopt standards and criteria, either the EQB’s or more stringent ones!

And there’s a job for local units of government:  Work “in consultation” with the state to develop the standards and criteria for mining, processing, and transporting silica sand,” and then the local units of government need to ADOPT them.  They won’t just automatically apply.

Please urge your local governments to get involved with the EQB’s process:

1) CONSULTATION — Ask local governments to join in the EQB’s process, hold public meetings in the area, weigh in with suggestions for language — quickly, before draft is done in September.  This is where input has the most impact  Send input to:;;;

2) ADOPT STANDARDS AND CRITERIA.  The EQB’s Standards and Criteria don’t apply automatically — they must be adopted into local ordinances.  Adopt the Standards and Criteria developed by the EQB, and adopt stricter standards where desired.

Here are some specific suggestions filed with the state agencies on August 2 when they were in Red Wing and Winona:

Comments of Winona CASM – August 2, 2013

You can use the CASM Comments as a guide and write your own standards on issues important to you!

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTACT INFO – just cut & paste for your area:

Goodhue County:;;;;;;

Red Wing’s City Council & Staff:;,; ;;;;;

Wabasha County:;;;;;;

Lake City:;;;;;;;;


Townships: Look up your township officials — there are SO many townships that you’re on your own here!

The EQB needs local governments’ input on so many things.  Pick the ones you’re concerned about and let local officials know it’s important to you.

From Minnesota Session Laws 114, Sec. 91 (someday soon to be Minn. Stat. 116C.99):

The standards and criteria must include:
(1) recommendations for setbacks or buffers for mining operation and processing, including:
(i) any residence or residential zoning district boundary;
(ii) any property line or right-of-way line of any existing or proposed street or highway;
(iii) ordinary high water levels of public waters;
(iv) bluffs;
(v) designated trout streams, Class 2A water as designated in the rules of the Pollution Control Agency, or any perennially flowing tributary of a designated trout stream or Class 2A water;
(vi) calcareous fens;
(vii) wellhead protection areas as defined in section 103I.005;
(viii) critical natural habitat acquired by the commissioner of natural resources under section 84.944; and
(ix) a natural resource easement paid wholly or in part by public funds;
(2) standards for hours of operation;
(3) groundwater and surface water quality and quantity monitoring and mitigation plan requirements, including:
(i) applicable groundwater and surface water appropriation permit requirements;
(ii) well sealing requirements;
(iii) annual submission of monitoring well data; and
(iv) storm water runoff rate limits not to exceed two-, ten-, and 100-year storm events;
(4) air monitoring and data submission requirements;
(5) dust control requirements;
(6) noise testing and mitigation plan requirements;
(7) blast monitoring plan requirements;
(8) lighting requirements;
(9) inspection requirements;
(10) containment requirements for silica sand in temporary storage to protect air and water quality;
(11) containment requirements for chemicals used in processing;
(12) financial assurance requirements;
(13) road and bridge impacts and requirements; and
(14) reclamation plan requirements as required under the rules adopted by the
commissioner of natural resources.

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