“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.
“Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said he will push for a more extensive review of the potential effect of silica-sand mining. Specifically, he backs the idea of a statewide Generic Environmental Impact Statement and a temporary moratorium while the study is completed.
“‘We have a lot of questions out there without any real valid answers,’ Kelly said.
“Southeastern Minnesota is at the forefront of a silica-sand mining boom. The fine sand is a key ingredient in the process of hydraulic fracturing of "fracking." The new technique involves pumping sand, water and chemicals into oil and natural gas wells within shale formations. The high-pressure mixture creates fractures in the rock, releasing the oil and gas trapped inside,” via Rochester Post Bulletin.