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Letter about frac mining

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in All Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Anyone who thinks that frac sand is not an issue…think again. A small scale sand pit across from the Rushford Golf Course is looking to expand into a full-scale frac sand mine that will remove two million cubic yards from a 19-acre site before the end of the year! In addition, the owners submitted an application for a permit to pump 42 million gallons of water for sand washing. Why so much sand… so soon… and in such a short period of time? Because the sand pit’s permit expires in January. This is an attempt to repurpose the sand pit and circumvent the frac sand moratorium in place in Houston County. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the sand pit was properly permitted in the first place. Houston County is currently negotiating to “grandfather in” the mine by requesting operation and reclamation plans that were required 20 years ago but never submitted. This mine has been operating illegally since 1992.

Think about this: 460 semi loads per day traveling from the mine along Highway 16, our scenic byway, through the town of Rushford to Winona; 4,800 gallons of water per hour pumped from our aquifers; large dewatering and reclamation ponds; and razing of a hill that will expose acres of land to wind and water erosion.

Please call Houston County Commissioners for the details. You can also contact the DNR regarding the water permit at: DNR Eco/Waters, 651-345-5601.

Linda S. Griggs

Houston, MN

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