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Frac sand mining issue packs Minnesota hearing room Tuesday


ST. PAUL, MN (WSAU) -  Minnesota lawmakers are considering tighter regulations on silica sand mining, and they’re getting pressure from environmentalists. 

Mining frac sand is a booming industry on both sides of the Wisconsin Minnesota border, and Minnesota held a hearing at the Capitol yesterday to take testimony about tighter regulations.

Critics of the mines say the state needs to assess health and environmental impacts the mines and processing sites have on communities. Proponents are saying local governments should oversee silica mining.

Minnesota Sen. Matt Schmit of Red Wing says he plans to introduce a bill tomorrow to broaden the state's oversight and call for a statewide study of the industry. Hearing chairman Sen. John Marty of Roseville says such a study may require a temporary moratorium on new mines.