In response to concern about silica sand mining and related activities, legislation was passed giving three state agencies authority to develop new rules to regulate silica sand projects:
All three state agencies are coordinating their silica sand rulemaking efforts. A joint advisory panel has been assembled and is currently meeting monthly.
Status of rules
As of April 2014, the DNR intends to spend the next several months on the following items:
Promulgating rules can take about two years. The process can take longer for complex rules and to accommodate higher levels of public participation. When the draft rules are finished, they will be posted and available for public comment.
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.
Learn about the state's roles in mine reclamation.
All stakeholders benefit from good mine planning and effective reclamation of mines sites. For the general public, reclamation ensures that post-mining land disturbances are minimized and the site is returned to a safe, sustaining, productive land use. For operators, good mine planning and reclamation promotes efficient mining practices and extraction of a resource. For the environment, good reclamation control dust emissions, prevents soil loss and erosion, and minimized the length and time disturbed lands are unreclaimed.
The Minnesota DNR oversees the reclamation of all metallic mining activities in the state. We have written rules for ferrous, non-ferrous, and peat mineland reclamation. While silica sand reclamation will remain the purview of local units of governments, the DNR rules will set state standards for the reclamation of lands impacted by silica sand mining and encourage the utilization of land after the cessation of mining.
More on silica sand rulemaking
Learn more about the state's roles in silica sand rulemaking.
State silica sand website
DNR silica sand homepage
Silica sand standards
A Handbook for Reclaiming Sand and Gravel Pits in Minnesota
User Guide to Pit and Quarry Reclamation in Alberta - External