At the Minnesota State Fair yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton made it clear that he supports a ban on frac sand mining and processing in southeast Minnesota. During an appearance at Minnesota Public Radio’s fair booth, the Governor brought the issue up in response to a question about fracking and energy policy.
During his State Fair interview, Gov. Dayton also said that the regulations passed during the recent Legislative session are going to be vigilantly enforced. That’s critical because, based on what we’ve seen in Wisconsin, the industry does not have a good track record of voluntary compliance. Knowing Gov. Dayton wants state agencies strictly interpreting them is important.
Here’s exactly what the Governor said:
“The fracking frankly I would keep out of Minnesota entirely. I wanted to ban further silica sand mining and any processing of that in southeast Minnesota. I would allow the existing operations that are more in the Mankato area and Minnesota River and a little bit north of the Twin Cities. These areas are not so ecologically fragile. But I couldn’t get the Legislature to go along with the ban in southeastern Minnesota. But we did get some very, very tight regulations, very tight restrictions, that the DNR and Pollution Control Agency are going to enforce vigilantly and we’ll see how it goes. But I’m prepared to try again next year to get the Legislature to say that area is off limits.”
After he made these comments, I called Gov. Dayton (800-657-3717) and thanked him for his leadership and encouraged him to push for a ban in southeast Minnesota.
The Governor’s leadership could make all the difference to us living in southeast Minnesota who have been fighting for over two years now to keep the frac sand industry from destroying our communities.
Thank you, Governor Dayton for prioritizing the health, safety and welfare of Minnesota citizens above corporate profits!
Land Stewardship Project member Kelley Stanage lives in southeast Minnesota’s Houston County.