Winona County officials apparently now have a much better understanding of their role as the “Responsible Governmental Unit” in the environmental review process for frac sand mines, and the concerns LSP raised recently (see previous blog post) will be addressed before the Yoder and Dabelstein EAWs are re-published.
We’ve learned that County Planning Department staff now intend to use the full allotted time to thoroughly prepare the new EAWs, making sure that they no longer contain self-serving language written by the mine proposers. Re-publication of the EAWs is not expected to take place before mid- or late-December.
The county is also looking into the possibility that these two mines and the proposed Minnesota Proppant processing facility in St. Charles are related as either a connected or phased action, which could trigger a mandatory Environmental Impact Statement.
See this Nov. 14 Winona Post article for more on the situation.