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Mining ordinance ready for final approval

Goodhue County Planning and Advisory Commission met Monday for a public hearing on the county's mining ordinance, voting unanimously to make two additions and send it to County Board for approval.

"We had some good comments that were brought up," said Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel at a County Board meeting Tuesday morning.

Rechtzigel offered two additions to the ordinance regarding health and environmental impacts of potential frac sand mining in the county.

The first requires mine applicants to include a map marking all nearby establishments within a one-mile radius of the proposed dig site, Rechtzigel said. This would include campgrounds, nursing homes, schools, residential lots and "anything that doesn't mix well with mining," he said.

The PAC and County Board could then use the map while discussing whether to approve mining permits.

The second addition proposed by Rechtzigel would allow the PAC to add conditions to permits that would require mine operators to take steps to prevent silica sand runoff from escaping the site.

Compliance with such provisions would be monitored through checks of air quality around the mine, Rechtzigel said.

Both additions were approved by the commission after a discussion.

The PAC then voted 8-0 to approve the mining ordinance and pass it along to County Board for final approval. The board will hold a hearing before taking action on the ordinance at a meeting 9 a.m. June 18.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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