And the good news is… the Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Winona County’s frac sand mining ban:

Check out the court’s rejection of Minnesota Sands’ takings claim, starting on p. 26.

Frac sand fracas

November 14th, 2012


OH MY!  Quite a fracas…

Citizens have also criticized the county because the information in the EAWs was so similar to the information submitted by the mine applicants’ consultant. Johanna Rupprecht of the Land Stewardship Project said the county’s role in the EAW preparation, as outlined in EQB guidelines, showed the county had more work to do on the documents. She said the county was supposed to conduct independent review and analysis of the information submitted by the applicants, and that any “conclusions” about environmental impacts should come from the county, not the mine applicants. “The language in there is what the [mine] proposers wrote,” she said. “That’s not how that is supposed to work. The RGU is responsible for that independent analysis. Essentially, I think it was an issue of the county not exercising enough independent judgement.”

That’s not too surprising.  I remember over in Freeborn County on the Bent Tree wind project, the yahoo doing the environmental review CUT & PASTED the Application and called it environmental review.  The only thing different was the cover sheet.  NO, I DON’T THINK SO!

The problem though is that local governments don’t have the expertise, staff, or budget to handle full blown environmental review on a technical and new issue.  Funding is needed NOW!

Here’s the full article from Winona Post:

County bungled frac sand environmental studies

And here are the primary documents via the Winona County website:

Name Size
File:archive.pst 1305510 KB
File:Dabelstein CUP Resubmittal 09-21-2012.pdf 9351 KB
File:EAW – Dabelstein FINAL 10-4-12.pdf 13880 KB
File:EAW – Yoder FINAL 10-4-12.pdf 17740 KB
File:Yoder CUP Resubmittal 09-21-2012.pdf 25615 KB

From the Winona Daily News:

Protesters Again Block Modern Transport Terminal

I’m buried in CapX Wisconsin right now, BUT this came across the screen, do check it out:

We have a frac sand mine proposed here, just south of Red Wing in Hay Creek, and that’s going over like a lead balloon.  Same for Winona.