ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) a¿¿ The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board has delayed for at least a month its consideration of model standards for regulating the silica sand mining industry.
EQB spokeswoman Megan Eischen said Monday that board staffers are still processing public comments on the draft standards after the deadline was extended by two weeks to Jan. 27. So instead of discussing and potentially finalizing the draft at its Feb. 19 meeting, the board will now take it up March 19.
Eischen says around 75 to 100 comments have been submitted to the EQB, and others are tricking in.
The nonbinding guidelines are meant to provide local governments with a range of tools to help them regulate silica sand projects. The industry has boomed because oil and gas drillers use silica sand for hydraulic fracturing.