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CALEDONIA, Minn. — An environmental group on Tuesday proposed banning large-scale frac sand mining.

The Houston County Protectors offered the county board what the advocacy group described as a “thoughtful, balanced” amendment to the county’s mining ordinance.

Representing the Houston County Protectors, Ken Tschumper told the board the proposed change to the county’s mineral extraction ordinance “resolves much of the controversy … by proposing two significant changes” — prohibiting frac sand mining and resolving problems with nonconforming mines.

“I encourage you to read and study this proposed amendment carefully,” Tschumper told the board. “I think you will find that it is a thoughtful, balanced and substantive effort by members of Houston County Protectors to find common ground among most of the opinions and views on what is workable and what is problematic in Section 27.”

Tschumper said the proposal is for residents because it bans frac sand mining; for miners because it outlines a path toward a predictable business plan; for property owners adjacent to mines because it assures them what to expect when living next to a mine and outlines recourse should a problem develop; and the county government because it eliminates nonconforming mines, clarifies actions for regulating mines and simplifies the workload by streamlining enforcement and complaint issues.

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The proposed language more clearly specifies the definition of excavation and mining in the ordinance, which includes “the process or method of digging, excavating, mining, drilling, blasting, tunneling, dredging, stripping, or removing metals, minerals or materials from the land surface or underground.” It also addresses washing and filtering the material, as well as its transportation from the excavation site.

The changes, the group says, will “minimize the impact on existing mining, which supplies local farms and businesses with sand and gravel.”

“It is an effort by members of Houston County Protectors to find common ground with the mining community on how to deal with frac sand mining, specifically, and mineral extraction, in general,” Tschumper said. “If these changes are approved, every resident will benefit and every current mine operator will be better off, also.”

The board didn’t discuss the proposal Tuesday and took no action on it. The next step in the process is a public hearing by the planning commission, which will make a recommendation to the full board. It’s expected to be several weeks before the public hearing takes place.

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(5) comments

Truth Hurts

If the majority wants a ban how come Ken handily lost an election lost fall. How come Steve and Theresa were re-elected within the last year when their stance on frac sand has been well known prior to each election.? How come Judy was elected given her stance on frac sand was also well known. Last I checked these 3 commissioners where from La Crescent and Caledonia. The population centers in Houston County, which ding ding...Represents the majority.
You want to talk desperate. Week after week I see lies, childish behavior and harassment all at the hands of the Houston County Protectors. It is on display at the board meetings, local newspapers and all of the Internet. Ken has an article full of lies in the Caledonia paper this week. Last week it was Brian and Sue in the Caledonia and Spring Grove papers. Talk about desperate.

acelady

Name calling just proves how desperate and unintelligent the opposition is, especially since ou812 has not even read the Proposed Ordinance. It is a VERY good ordinance!! Houston Co. Commissioners should try a new approach, Listening to taxpayers, who very much want to Ban Frac Sand Mining in Houston Co and keep peace in the County, this Proposed Ordinance does both.

acelady

How long does it take to report an ABUSE before Tribune removes said abuse!! Name calling is unacceptable!!

lostinparadize

ace lady, you must be new to this board. A little thin skinned as well the way it looks. You ain't seen nothing yet as the song goes. Tune in some time when Tower, Jarhmir, Old Homey and others lash out at Chip Denure, aka Buggs Raplin. Now that's name calling. Toughen up there cowboy. By the by, does ace lady refer to an employee or former employee of Ace Telephone Co of Houston county fame?

ou812

kENNY should not be taken seriously He is a fruitcake.

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