Posted at: 10/29/2013 6:35 PM
Updated at: 10/29/2013 6:37 PM
By: Brianna Long
Citizens Line Up to Voice Frac Concerns
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- People from across southeast Minnesota came together in St. Charles to voice their opinions in front of a group of people who could shape the future of silica sand mining.
The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board is traveling across the state, getting input from people on the future of silica sand mining.
"Money, money, money. Is that getting your attention?" said one community member at the St. Charles senior center Tuesday.
"You have your work cut out for you," added another resident.
"I would like the model ordinance to include the option for a total ban," said Bonita Underbakke. She's a Lanesboro resident who traveled to St. Charles Tuesday to speak to the EQB.
"We can stand up, we can speak up, and we can advocate for a sustainable future. That's why we're here," said Underbakke.
The board was given the task by the 2013 legislature, to come up with model standards for silica sand mining; a model that could be used by local governments when writing local rules and regulations for mining.
"Its really beneficial to local officials to have a place to start the conversation. As they look at what these model recommendations are, it will give them that starting point, it will help them know, what does the state environmental quality board recommend?" said John Linc Stine, an EQB board member.
And as citizens voice their opinions on what should be included in the model, Bonita Underbakke says, she just wants them to listen.
"We live in a very delicate part of the state as far as our water supply," said resident Vince Ready.
"The model ordinance from the state is very likely to just be adopted off the shelf. And that's why I'd like to have the model ordinance include choices that the local governments could use," added Underbakke.
From here, the EQB will continue to gather public input, and then later on in November, they will put together a draft of their model standards. That draft will be put online, and available for public viewing, before the final version comes out in February.