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Letter: Frac sand mining deserves research

To the Editor:

Thank you for the article written by Don Davis titled "Sand mining testimony fractured" (R-E, Feb. 20). It would be beneficial for all to see more in-depth reporting on the pros and cons of this frac sand mine debate.

I have been trying to follow this issue about the mine that is proposed for the Hay Creek area located south of Red Wing, but was finding little information about it your newspaper. After looking around on the Internet I have found other articles concerning the mine in several other Minnesota publications. I believe it would be prudent to take the time to investigate and study the impact it would have on air quality, water usage and contamination, and the marring of the beautiful countryside and bluffs that attract many visitors to the area to enjoy.  The citizens of Red Wing and the surrounding communities deserve to have objective information concerning both the risks and the benefits of this frac sand mining venture. 

  Decades ago there was an unsightly junkyard that littered the bluff on the north side of Highway 61 west of town, just before the big hill leading up toward Hastings and Hampton. The old cars were eventually removed and the hillside was cleaned up. But the damage and scars that a frac sand mine could inflict would not be that easy to rectify.

  Several months ago I traveled to Red Wing from my home in Arizona to look at a property to purchase for retirement. Red Wing is a community that has always felt like home to me and I hope to return there someday. I was born there and my family roots go back well before Red Wing was established as a town, but I might rethink this idea if this frac sand mine becomes a poorly researched and hastily approved reality.