Frac Sand Mining: Could It Happen Here?

Due to a rapid increase in the use of hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking) in domestic oil and gas production, the pure silica sand used in the fracking process has become a valuable commodity. Minnesota is home to extensive silica sand deposits, especially along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. Some of these deposits are located at or near the surface in Washington County.

Frac sand mining is a complex and contentious issue.  Concerns about intense truck traffic, water pollution and health impacts from silica dust have been pitted against energy independence, jobs and economic stimulus.

Join us Tuesday, October 29, 7:00-8:45 PM, at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple Street, Mahtomedi, for a rare opportunity to hear about frac sand mining from individual, community, regulatory, business and public policy viewpoints. Brief presentations by our guests will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by journalist and former WCCO TV anchorman Don Shelby. Questions will be taken from the audience.

Special guests include:
Fred Harding, member of Maiden Rock (Wisconsin) Concerned Citizens
Bill Spitzer, Mayor of St. Charles, MN
Tom Landwehr, Commissioner, MN DNR
Representative Peter Fischer, District 43A, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
Dennis Egan, Executive Director, Minnesota Industrial Sand Council
Refreshments will be served prior to the event from 6:30-7:00 pm. This free forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church Climate Change Committee, Izaak Walton League, River Valley Action, Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative, St. Andrew’s Environmental Stewardship Team, and Friends of Washington County.

For more information about the event, contact

Photo by Carol Mitchell via Flickr (Creative Commons)