Silica Sand

Silica Sand Rulemaking - Reclamation

DNR's role in rulemaking for the reclamation of silica sand mines

Status of Rulemaking

Silica sand mine

In 2013, the legislature directed the DNR to adopt rules pertaining to the reclamation of silica sand mines. The DNR used input gained from a nearly year-long advisory panel process to develop preliminary draft rules. Developing rules can take about two years. The process can take longer to accommodate higher levels of public participation. The DNR published preliminary draft rule for public feedback:

  • Revised Preliminary Draft Rule
    The DNR received written feedback on the Preliminary Draft Rules for Reclamation Version 5_13_2016 until June 15, 2016.
    Preliminary Draft Rules for Reclamation Version 5_13_2016
  • Next steps in the rulemaking process includes finishing drafting the Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) and publish the proposed draft of the rules for formal public comment which is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2017.

Previous iterations of preliminary draft rule language

Other Rulemakings

In addition to the DNR, MPCA and EQB are involved in implementing the 2013 legislation regarding silica sand mining, processing and transportation in Minnesota. All three state agencies are coordinating their silica sand rulemaking efforts.

Public input

The DNR strongly encourages and welcomes public input during the rulemaking process. In the July 22, 2013 edition of the state register, a notice was published requesting public comment for this rulemaking process. The ability for you to comment remains open. Feel free to contact the rulemaking coordinator in writing to submit your comments on silica sand mine reclamation.

Request for public comment
Submit comments to rulemaking coordinator

Mine reclamation

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DNR experience

More on silica sand rulemaking

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Silica Sand Rulemaking Advisory Panel (SSRAP)

Advisory panel webpage
Silica Sand Rulemaking Advisory Panel (SSRAP) meetings

Committee members


State silica sand website
State's multi-agency silica sand website

DNR silica sand homepage
Highlights DNR silica sand projects, FAQs, and status map

MPCA webpage
Features silica sand rulemaking efforts

EQB website
Silica sand related news, tools, library, and environmental review from the Environmental Quality Board


Fact sheet
DNR's reclamation rulemaking of silica sand projects fact sheet.

Silica sand standards
EQB's tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects.

A Handbook for Reclaiming Sand and Gravel Pits in Minnesota
A handbook published by the DNR to assist local governments in promoting mine planning and reclamation.

User Guide to Pit and Quarry Reclamation in Alberta - External
Provides information on the basics of mineral extraction, mine planning, and selecting best land use for a reclaimed site.


Silica sand potential in Minnesota
DNR general map displaying quartz-rich sandstone within 50 feet of land surface.

Active silica sand mines in Minnesota
DNR general map displaying active silica sand mines that are producing industrial sand in Minnesota.

DNR Contact

Heather Arends
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045
Telephone: 651-259-5376 or 888-646-6367