Minnesota appeals court upholds Winona County frack sand ban

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld Winona County’s frack sand ban.

The appeals court Monday affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit from a company that challenged the ordinance.

Minnesota Sands and a group of landowners argued the 2016 mining ordinance violates their constitutional rights by singling out sand used for industrial purposes, such as fracking, while allowing mining for local construction uses.

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But the La Crosse Tribune reports the appeals panel rejected that argument.

Silica sand is used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling process used to unlock underground oil and natural gas reserves.

Minnesota Sands president Richard Frick, of Dakota, Minnesota, said in a statement the company is “extremely disappointed” by the ruling and is considering whether to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.