MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota plans to release model standards Friday to help communities struggling to regulate the boom in mining for silica sand, which oil and gas drillers use for hydraulic fracturing.
They're meant to give local governments some ideas they can tailor for their own needs for coping with mining's effects on the environment, public health and transportation. The state Environmental Quality Board plans to post the draft on its website Friday to start a 30-day public comment period. A public meeting is set for Wednesday.
The voluntary standards are among several steps the Legislature has ordered on silica sand mining, which Minnesota has regulated mostly on the local level. State agencies are also drafting regulations that will have the force of law.