Yesterday was the quarterly meeting of Minnesota’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission.  Attorney Bill Mavity, accompanied by several others from Wisconsin, presented on frac sand mining and impacts on the Great River Road.  He authored and promoted the Pepin County ordinance:

Pepin County Ordinance

He brought up the economic report that they’d completed in association with the Ordinance:

The Potential Impacts of Frac Sand Transport and Mining on Tourism and Property Values in Lake Pepin Communities – 14 May 2013

He noted that the Ordinance is economic regulation, and if challenged, this report essential because it provides the rational basis necessary to support the Ordinance.  This points to the necessity of having an economic analysis for this type of ordinance, without it, or some other substantive support, it is much weaker and susceptible to challenge.

The Minnesota MRPC is sensitive to the impacts of frac sand mining on the Great River Road and the Mississippi, and has agreed to pull together a Resolution similar to that of the Wisconsin MRCP, which they’ll discuss at their November meeting.  They also will be considering a silica sand presentation at the annual convention.

I gave a short update on the completion of permitting for CapX 2020 transmission, what with this week’s Supreme Court denial of Oronoco Township’s Petition for Review.  MRPC submitted comments for a number of the CapX 2020 dockets — CapX 2020 transmission will have a significant impact on the Great River Road.  Any day now they’ll start the 345kV part of the Hampton-La Crosse route which crosses the Mississippi River at Alma.  Staff also got the scoop from me about agencies’ silica sand mining agenda including Standards and Criteria (which includes bluff and road impacts).

This was a very effective presentation by Mavity.  It’s unfortunate that no one else from frac sand mining land showed up!