The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 16, 2014

Three from area named to silica rulemaking panel


The Mankato Free Press

---- — Three area residents have been appointed to the new joint advisory panel that will guide the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources as they consider possible rulemaking for the regulation of silica-sand operations in Minnesota.

Beth Proctor, a Lime Township supervisor, was appointed as a local government representative. Mike Wallenius, Unimin Corp., and Brett Skilbred, Jordan Sands and Industrial Sand Council, were appointed as industry representatives.

The 15-member board is made up of representatives mostly from the silica-sand rich area stretching from south-central Minnesota to the Wisconsin border.

The MPCA and DNR decided to establish the panel to provide input as they implement legislation passed in 2013 calling for rulemaking on silica-sand operations. The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board also will participate in the advisory committee process to receive advice on rules related to silica sand environmental review.

The committee will have its first meeting Jan. 29 and continue meeting monthly until new rules or rule revisions are proposed. This process is likely to take at least one year. Meetings of the committee will be public with some held at the MPCA or DNR offices in St. Paul and some likely in southeastern Minnesota.

For more information about the state’s rulemaking for silica sand, visit http://silicasand.mn.gov

Locally, Jordan Sands, a part of the Coughlan Family of businesses, has been moving ahead with silica sand mining operations just north of Mankato in Lime Township. Unimin has long operated silica plants near Ottawa.

The Free Press