Dear Friends and Neighbors,
An Environmental Impact Statement on 11 proposed frac sand mines in Fillmore, Houston, and Winona counties is beginning this summer, led by the Environmental Quality Board (a MN state agency).
You are invited to a Land Stewardship Project event to help make sure this study starts off right, and the scope includes all of the many concerns local people have about the impacts of this destructive industry.
Come to learn more, share your concerns, and get involved.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 6:30-9:00 pm (registration 6:00)
Montini Hall at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Rushford, MN
Participation by each of us is important in the EIS process.
Details will be coming from Land Stewardship Project, Johanna Rupprecht (507-523-3366) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
a documentary about silica mines, small towns and money
“The Price of Sand”, a documentary film about frac sand mining
“The Price of Sand” is a documentary about the frac sand mining boom in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Due to a rapid increase in demand, pure silica sand has become a valuable commodity, and mines are opening here at a rapid rate.
The silica used in hydraulic fracturing (aka : “fracking”), has other uses– glass manufacturing and toothpaste, for instance — and a few established mines have been in operation here for decades. But now, new companies have arrived, and land with accessible silica deposits is selling for high prices.
In addition to a bonanza for a few lucky landowners, the new mines promise jobs and economic stimulus for the small towns and rural areas nearby.
Two years ago, an oil company bought a tract of land in near my mother’s house, in rural Goodhue County, Minnesota. The prospect of an open pit mine led to the formation of an opposition group, a series of public meetings, and a temporary county moratorium on frac sand mining.
I’m a filmmaker, so I visited people who live near existing mines and interviewed them. They told me stories–intense truck traffic, plummeting property values, toxic silica dust–a catalog of complaints that surprised me with its variety and intensity. I made clips from the interviews and posted them on YouTube.
YouTube shorts can provoke discussion (56,000 views so far), but the story of this mining boom is more complex. Good people are on both sides of the issue, and sometimes the facts aren’t obvious. “The Price of Sand” is a 1-hour documentary film that grew out of my short YouTube video project–more extensive, with new stories–a more comprehensive look at what’s happening.
The goal of this project: find the real price of frac sand. Not just in dollars, but in friendships, communities and the future of our region.
Jim Tittle • St. Paul, MN • director
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Join us as we attend a talk presented by Crispin Pierce, PhD, Professor of Environmental Public Health at UW-Eau Claire.