Urgent action is needed to protect southeastern Minnesota from the harmful impacts of the major frac sand mining, processing, and transportation operation proposed by the company Minnesota Sands, LLC.
In March 2013, thanks to organizing and pressure from the people of southeastern Minnesota, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) enforced the requirement of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the MN Sands proposal.
The EIS requirement meant that the company could not seek permits for any part of its project until after the EIS had been carried out. An EIS is a comprehensive review of all the potential impacts of a proposed project, which takes one or more years to complete and must be paid for by the company. The requirement blocked MN Sands from moving forward for more than seven years because company officials know that the proposal will not pass the full, public scrutiny provided in the EIS. The company has continued to fail to provide the information necessary for the review process to even begin.
But now, EQB staff believe the resolution has expired and MN Sands can move forward on the Dablestein Mine proposal in Fillmore County without an EIS. If allowed, this project could pave the way for dozens of operations in southeastern Minnesota.
We know that extractive and disruptive frac sand operations violate our vision for economies that are in harmony with nature and support our communities’ sustainability. Frac sand mining is not part of the economy we need because it is volatile and hurts the land and people. A good economy is diverse and varied, with jobs in which people work for, not against, the community’s overall sustainability.
EQB staff members are presenting to the EQB tomorrow (Sept. 9) — we need to make our voices heard NOW. Urge the EBQ Board to not accept the conclusion that the EIS requirement for Minnesota Sands no longer applies.
Our role as citizens is to act together and use our power to make sure governments and institutions serve people and the land. Frac sand mining is not in the best interests of people or the land, and businesses have no right to be part of our economy if they are not in harmony with the needs of our communities and natural world. Frac sand corporations have abused the public trust too much and violated our values of inherent worth, stewardship, and health.