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Landmark ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court in fracking ban case

Posted: Thu, Mar 12, 2020 2:15 PM

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a ruling in support of Winona County's ban on the mining of industrial silica sand.  The fracking ban had been put into place by the Winona County Board, but immediately challenged by Minnesota Sands.

The ban covered only sand used for industrial purposes--the mining of sand used for roadways and other commercial purposes was allowed.

Minnesota Sands challenged the ban on the grounds that it violated the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, but the Supreme Court of Minnesota on Wednesday became the third straight court to rule in favor of Winona County.

The ruling is of interest to Decorah residents.  The Winneshiek County Board approved a moratorium on frac sand mining in June of 2013.  The moratorium was seen as a way to give time to research the possible effects of frac sand mining in Winneshiek County.  As a result of that research, the county Planning and Zoning Commission recommended and the County Board adopted new regulations for industrial mineral mining.

For more information on the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling, visit the Winona Daily News website.