SandPoint Times

Advocating solutions to protect Southeast Minnesota from frac-sand mining

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About Us
St. Charles Area
Concerned Citizens for St. Charles
Mission Statement
Concerned Citizens for St. Charles is a group of volunteers who are striving to inform all area residents of ongoing sand activities. We are concerned about all the negative impacts sand mining and sand processing will have on our community and our neighboring communities. We welcome your input and involvement in helping us protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens in the St. Charles area, while preserving this region’s unique beauty, natural resources, and way of life.
Wednesday, March 13: MN House of Representatives to Hold First Hearing on the Silica Sand Mining Issue!!
House File 906, authored by Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-Mendota Heights), will be heard Wednesday, March 13, in the House Environment Policy Committee. House File 906 calls for the Environmental Quality Board to develop standards for frac sand ordinances that can be used by local units of government and to create a technical assistance team to help local units of government. We must work to strengthen this bill by making sure it contains the key elements of Senate File 786.
>> learn more
News and Information
Collapse of St. Charles Frac Sand Project Causes Split Among Investors
The collapse of a major frac sand proposal in Winona County has caused a split among investors in the project, with one faction pulling out in frustration over Minnesota’s anti-frac sand sentiment…
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy, February 13, 2013
St. Charles City Council Vote Derails Silica Sand Project
ST. CHARLES — A unanimous vote from St. Charles' city council Tuesday night put the Minnesota Proppant silica-sand processing and transportation project on life support…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, Brian Todd, February 13, 2013
Mining-Hub Town of St. Charles Says No to Major Frac Sand Facility
Frac sand mining in southeastern Minnesota was dealt a serious setback Tuesday night when the city of St. Charles adopted a resolution advocated by local foes of the industry…
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy, February 13, 2013
St. Charles Frac Plant Petition Fails
ST. CHARLES, Minn. (KTTC) -- What has been the center of discussion on the outskirts of St. Charles has come to a conclusion at Tuesday evening's City Council meeting. On the agenda, the annexation of 300 acres on the eastern border of the city to turn into a proposed frac sand plant…
Source: KTTC TV, Peter Schuneman, March 12, 2013
St. Charles Won’t Annex Land for Frac Sand Plant
The St. Charles City Council is expected to vote today against annexing township land for a large proposed frac sand processing facility, which would leave the future of the facility in doubt…
Source: Winona Daily News, Tesla Rodriquez, March 12, 2013
St. Charles to Vote Tonight on Allowing Frac Mine
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A vote Thursday by the St. Charles city council could put a halt on a controversial topic for the area, a proposed frac sand facility…
Source: KAAL TV, Katie Eldred, March 12, 2013
Health Concerns With Frac Sand Mining
(ABC 6 News) -- A doctor took center stage talking with people about what he says are serious health concerns that can come from silica processing plants, likes the one that's proposed in St Charles…
Source: KAAL TV, Steph Crock, March 7, 2013
Silica Sand Mining Saga Continues in St. Charles
ST. CHARLES, Minn. (KTTC)- A decision by the city of St. Charles regarding silica sand mining could be made soon thanks to a petition offered by concerned citizens in the city. It is just one item involved in a busy day regarding the topic of mining…
Source: KTTC TV, Jared Ransom, March 7, 2013
St. Charles Township Sends 'Crystal Clear' Message on Frac Sand Facility
There can be no question now. The people of St. Charles Township have spoken. And now the chairman of the township board has spoken. Minnesota Proppant's proposed sand-loading rail facility is not wanted…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, Brian Todd, February 13, 2013
In a First, Minnesota Asks Winona County to Assess Risks of Frac Sand
Two state agencies are urging Winona County to approve an extensive review of potential impacts for two proposed frac sand mines in Saratoga Township. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health both sent letters to county planning staff this week strongly recommending an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Yoder and Dabelstein mines…
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy, February 8, 2013
State: EIS for County Frac Mines
In a critical test of Minnesota's approach to frac sand mining, two state agencies have called on Winona County to order an in-depth study of environmental and health risks associated with a cluster of proposed mines and processing sites…
Source: Winona Daily News, Mary Juhl, February 8, 2012
Red Wing's Mayor Gets Second Job with Frac Sand Lobbying Group
Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan has been hired to run a new lobbying and trade group for the frac sand industry, triggering consternation in his hometown just as it begins considering what position to take in a sand-mining debate that is emerging at the State Capitol…
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy, February 6, 2013
Sand Mine Rules Melt Under Pressure: To escape a strict permit in one township, a mine was annexed by a nearby city with lax restrictions
The maneuver stands as an example of the way mining companies are leveraging jobs and money to exert their will in the small communities of southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, where a sand rush has led to the permitting of more than 100 facilities in the past four years. It also shows how, in the absence of statewide oversight, local units of government are competing for sand mines at the expense of consistent standards…
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tony Kennedy, February 3, 2013
State Lawmakers Push for Study on Silica Sand Mining
ST. PAUL — The state Capitol is the latest front in the battle over silica-sand mining in southeastern Minnesota as domestic oil and gas production increases have boosted demand for the sand…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, Heather J. Carlson, January 14, 2013
No Frac Sand Washing Plant in St. Charles
More than 80% of the eligible voters surveyed in St. Charles DO NOT want the nation’s LARGEST frac sand washing plant in our town or anywhere near here! In two short weekends late in November, 45 concerned citizens covered about 60% of our town with petitions to stop the frac sand activities within the city of St. Charles…
Source: Winona Post, Skip Fort, January 9, 2013
St. Charles Petition Asks for Referendum on Mining
St. Charles residents who oppose a proposal that would put the country's largest frac sand processing and rail transfer facility on the edge of the city have begun circulating a petition, and in just two weekends have gathered more than 900 signatures…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, December 19, 2012
Video: St. Charles Residents Meet Over Frac Sand Project
Some people in St. Charles are hoping their voice will be heard, so a new frac sand mine won't end up in their small town. That group met Monday night to try and get others to rally against it. This isn't their first effort to get their voice heard either. The same group of community members tried getting this issue on the ballot so they would have a say in this, but that was rejected last Tuesday. Though, Monday's meeting proved their not giving up…
Source: KAALtv - Channel 6, Steph Crock, December 17, 2012
MPCA: County Must Study EIS for Frac Sand Mines
The Winona County Board received data on Tuesday from the state that suggest the county may have to require several proposed frac sand mines and a processing and transportation plant to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS, unlike the Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs) currently being prepared for the projects, is a in-depth environmental review that could take a year to complete, delaying the proposed frac sand projects significantly…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, December 12, 2012
St. Charles Parts with Police Chief; Hears from Anti-Silica Sand Group
here are 906 people on the petition wanting a chance for a public vote on whether they wanted a frac sand facility in the city of St. Charles,” said Travis Lange, a spokesperson for Concerned Citizens for St. Charles…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, Brian Todd, December 12, 2012
MPCA: County Must Study EIS for Frac Sand Mines
The Winona County Board received data on Tuesday from the state that suggest the county may have to require several proposed frac sand mines and a processing and transportation plant to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS, unlike the Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs) currently being prepared for the projects, is a in-depth environmental review that could take a year to complete, delaying the proposed frac sand projects significantly…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, December 12, 2012
MN Proppant Environmental Data Exposed
A planned development on the edge of the city of St. Charles could become the largest frac sand processing and transportation plant in the nation. Minnesota Proppant's plans include a rail spur, sand processing facility, and a six-mile underground pipeline that would bring sand to the site…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, December 9, 2012
County Bungled Frac Sand Environmental Studies
Two environmental studies for proposed sand mines in Saratoga Township must be re-released soon, after Winona County found it had several deficiencies in initial drafts that posed a liability for the county…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires November 14, 2012
Winona County & Frac Sand: Letting the Fox Guard & Build) the Hen House
Both frac sand mines (Dabelstein and Yoder) are undergoing environmental review by Winona County. It appears that Winona County had the frac sand mine proposers prepare the Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs), and then rubber-stamped them, in violation of state guidelines on environmental review. When the EAWs submitted by the mine proposers were compared to the EAWs put out by the county, there were no significant differences. The final EAWs put out by the county contain the same misinformation and missing information as the drafts submitted by the mine proposers…
Source: Land Stewardship Project, Johanna Rupprecht November 6, 2012
Fox 9 Investigators: Silica Sand
If you use natural gas to heat your home, you can thank silica sand for helping to greatly reduce the cost of supplies -- and for the oil boom in America, because that sand is used to help blast oil from shale in places like North Dakota as part of a process called fracking. However, the sand has created a swirling sandstorm of controversy. Since much of the precious sand is located in Minnesota and Wisconsin, local residents fear that mining to get at the sand could tear up local landscapes…
Source: MyFOX9, Trish Van Pilsum, November 11, 2012
Letter to the Editor: Travis Lange - Speak Up; There’s Plenty We Can Do
Recently, I’ve heard a comment repeated multiple times that I feel needs to be addressed. There seems to be a belief among some that the organizations behind the mining and proposed processing plant have too much money, therefore, there is nothing we can do. The truth of the matter is, we have no idea how much money Minnesota Proppant has because it has not and will not disclose its investors. Regardless of the money, the statement that there is nothing we can do is absolutely absurd…
Source: Winona Daily News, Travis Lange, November 6, 2012
Proposed St. Charles Frac Handling Facility EAW to be Released Soon
If Minnesota Proppant is successful with its development plans, what may be the largest frac sand facility in the nation would be erected on land adjacent to the city of St. Charles. It would process three million tons of frac sand annually, and the $70 million facility would serve as a rail transportation hub for the sand mined from at least three counties: Winona, Fillmore and Houston…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, October 31, 2012
Public Comment Sought on Two Frac Mine EAWs
The first Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs) to examine the potential effects of frac sand mines in Winona County have been released to the public. State leaders are now accepting citizen and state agency comments for one month, and then the documents will be voted on by the Winona County Board. The board will consider whether the environmental reviews are sufficient for the two proposed mines to move ahead, or whether more comprehensive analyses are necessary…
Source: Winona Post, Sarah Squires, October 17, 2012
Frac Sand EAW Concerns Pile Up
An environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) ordered for a proposed frac sand mine near Rushford was a debated by Houston County commissioners for over an hour on Oct. 9.…
Source: Spring Grove Herald, Craig Moorhead, October 16, 2012
Should They Build It? St. Charles Grapples with Sand Facility
ST. CHARLES, Minn. — After 10 months of discussing the 300 acre frac sand washing and loading facility that hopes to open outside of St. Charles, city officials and residents are still waiting to hear whether the company can move forward with its plans.…
Source: Winona Dilay News, Tesla Rodriquez, October 14, 2012
Trempealeau County Denies a Mining Permit for the First Time
No other county in Minnesota or Wisconsin has permitted as many frac sand facilities as Trempealeau County, which borders the Mississippi River near Winona…
Source: The Star Tibune, Tony Kennedy, October 12, 2012
County Says 'No' to Frac Sand Amendments
SIREN—Listening to constituents, concerned businesses and upset residents, the Burnett County Land Use and Information committee voted last week to deny two amendments to the conditional use permit held by Tiller Corp., the company which runs the fracture sand mine west of Grantsburg…
Source: The Burnett County Sentinel, Todd Beckmann, October 11, 2012
Wisconsin Kicks Off Study on Frac Sand's Impact on Water Quantity
Government geologists will join Chippewa County officials and members of the frac sand industry in Chippewa Falls, Wisc.,today to kick off a five-year study of water quantity issues in an area of greatly expanded frac sand operations.…
Source: The Star Tibune, Tony Kennedy, October 10, 2012
Video: City Council Rejects Frac Sand Transfer Facility in Eau Claire
Eau Claire (WQOW) - Plans to build a frac sand transfer facility in Eau Claire, have been shut down, at least for now. Tuesday, the city council rejected a developer's agreement from Muskie Proppant on a 9 to 1 vote…
Source: WQOW Eau Claire, October 9, 2012
Winona County Gets Anti-Frac Petition
At least the group proposing a $70 million silica sand processing plant near St. Charles and those who opposed it agree on one thing — local governments need to study the idea thoroughly before deciding whether to approve it…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, John Weiss, August 29, 2012
Distrust Grows of Fracking Companies
Silica sand mining opponents had a rare face-to-face meeting with a mining company representative here Tuesday, leading to an exchange of ideas…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, John Weiss, August 29, 2012
Crowd Hears About Wisconsin Man's Experience With Silica Sand Mine
Another packed auditorium, another round of silica sand talk. Concerned Citizens of St. Charles hosted an information meeting Monday at St. Charles Elementary School…
Source: Rochester Post Bulletin, Brian Todd, August 28, 2012
Related Videos
Video: City Council Rejects Frac Sand Transfer Facility in Eau Claire
Video: City Council Rejects Frac Sand Transfer Facility in Eau Claire - Eau Claire (WQOW) - Plans to build a frac sand transfer facility in Eau Claire, have been shut down, at least for now. Tuesday, the city council rejected a developer's agreement from Muskie Proppant on a 9 to 1 vote.
>> read article
Video: GASLAND - When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.
Want to Help?
If you have questions or comments, or would like to lend a hand, please contact us:
concernedcitizenssc@gmail.com
Breaking News
3/13/13
Collapse of St. Charles Frac Sand Project Causes Split Among Investors
3/13/13
St. Charles City Council Vote Derails Silica Sand Project
3/13/13
Mining-Hub Town of St. Charles Says No to Major Frac Sand Facility
3/12/13
St. Charles Frac Plant Petition Fails
3/12/13
St. Charles Won’t Annex Land for Frac Sand Plant
3/12/13
St. Charles to Vote Tonight on Allowing Frac Mine
3/7/13
Health Concerns With Frac Sand Mining
3/7/13
Silica Sand Mining Saga Continues in St. Charles
2/24/13
Clean Air Task Force: Search by Zip Code for the Diesel Soot Health Impacts in Your Area
2/24/13
Sign the Petition: MN State Legislature: ACT NOW to Support a Statewide Moratorium on Frac Sand Mining
2/19/13
The Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the House Committee on Energy Held a Joint Hearing on the Process and Impact of Silica Sand Mining
2/13/13
St. Charles Township Sends 'Crystal Clear' Message on Frac Sand Facility
2/8/13
In a First, Minnesota Asks Winona County to Assess Risks of Frac Sand
2/8/13
State: EIS for County Frac Mines
2/6/13
Red Wing's Mayor Gets Second Job with Frac Sand Lobbying Group
2/3/13
Sand Mine Rules Melt Under Pressure
1/14/13
State Lawmakers Push for Study on Silica Sand Mining
1/9/13
No Frac Sand Washing Plant in St. Charles
What You Can Do to Help:
Start A Conversation
Talk to your families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about industrial scale mining in Winona County. Share with them links to our website and encourage them to learn more about the dangers that industrial-scale mining pose to our area.
Write Letters to the Editor
Concision matters! Most of the papers have a 250 word limit! Include your full name, home address and daytime phone number or they reject your letter
EMAIL CONTACTS:
Caledonia Argus
Filmore County Journal
Houston County News
La Crosse Tribune
Rochester Post Bulletin
Spring Grove Herald
Tri-County Record
Winona Daily News
Contact County Commissioners
Share with them your concerns about industrial scale frac sand mining
1ST DISTRICT
James G. Pomeroy
85 Rivers Lane
Winona, MN 55987
507-457-6350 (Government Center)
507-452-2267 (Home)
jimpomeroy@hbci.com
2ND DISTRICT
Wayne T. Valentine
218 Whitten St
Winona, MN 55987
507-457-6350 (Government Center)
507-454-2762 (Home)
wvalentine@co.winona.mn.us
3RD DISTRICT
Mena R. Kaehler
23913 Co. Rd 39
St Charles, MN 55972
507-457-6350 (Government Center)
507-932-3623 (Home)
mkaehler@co.winona.mn.us
4TH DISTRICT
Greg D. Olson
216 Grand Street
Winona, MN 55987
507-457-6350 (Government Center)
507-474-6270 (Home)
golson@hbci.com
5TH DISTRICT
Marcia Ward
30978 Four Farms Road
Dakota, MN 55925
507-457-6350 (Government Center)
507-643-6389 (Home)
rtasca@acegroup.cc
Related Resources
FAQs: Industrial Silica Sands of Minnesota
FAQs: Industrial Silica Sands of Minnesota
Source: Minnesota DNR - Division of Land Minerals, March 2012
Timeline of Events Related to Silica Sand Mining in WInona County
Timeline of Events Related to Silica Sand Mining in WInona County
Source: Winonoa Planning and Environmental Services, February 2012
 
 
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Houston County Protectors • PO Box 487 • Houston, MN 55943