Environment & Energy

Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Fracking Sand Ban (1)

March 11, 2020, 9:46 PM; Updated: March 12, 2020, 2:08 AM

A Minnesota county didn’t violate a mining company’s state and federal constitutional protections by prohibiting in certain instances the mining of silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing, the state’s highest court said.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld decisions by a Minnesota district court and the state’s Court of Appeals, both of which ruled a 2016 Winona County Board of Commissioners zoning ordinance was valid.

The ordinance essentially prohibits Minnesota Sands, an industrial mining company, from mining and processing silica sand in the county and selling it to out-of-state oil and gas producers. In hydraulic fracturing, water and sand...

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