The legislative session is drawing to a close, and things are moving
quickly. Sen. Mat Schmit's bill SF 786 which asked for the things we wanted - a
GEIS, a moratorium, state permitting and standards is probably dead.
Sen. Schmit has another bill, SF 796 the Game and Fish Bill, which calls
for setbacks for frac sand mining from springs and trout streams, and limits
how close mining can come to the water table. It is a good bill and is receiving
support (and being resisted by industry). It will be heard the week of 4/22 in
the Sen. Environment & Ag Finance Committee.
The bill that is gaining
traction is HF 976. The industry likes this bill and it does NOT address our
concerns. It sets up a model ordinance and a technical team and could later be
held up to say "See, we did something". It has neither strong state pollution
standards nor funding by the industry to pay for permanent damages it will make
to our fragile karst region.
What you can do today.
Call or email
Gov. Mark Dayton (800-657-3717 or google him for his email form) and tell him:
(in your own words) We in S.E. Minnesota need you to be engaged in the frac
sand issue before it's too late. We're disappointed that you didn't support a
moratorium and wish you would change your mind. We need strong standards
enacted in this session. HF 976 the EQB model ordinance does not address our
concerns. Please support SF 796 the Game and Fish bill, which will help
protect our ground and surface water.
A call or email to Sen Schmit
(651-296-4264 firstname.lastname@example.org) would
be good as well. He will be getting a lot of pressure from here on out. Thank
him for all his work on SF 786 and tell him how important SF 796 is to you and
why, and encourage him to hang in there.