Silica Sand Rulemaking

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



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:

  • Reclamation of silica sand mines - rules to be developed by the DNR.
  • Control of particulate emissions from silica sand projects - rules to be adopted by MPCA.
  • Environmental review for silica sand projects - rules will be amended by the EQB.

All three state agencies are coordinating their silica sand rulemaking efforts. A joint advisory panel has been assembled and is currently meeting monthly.

Legislative authority


Status of rules

As of April 2014, the DNR intends to spend the next several months on the following items:

  • Developing the scope of the rules
  • Drafting rule language
  • Writing a State of Need and Reasonableness or SONAR

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.

Preliminary Draft Rule Language

Silica sand rulemaking timeline and present status


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


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


Mine reclamation

Learn about the state's roles in mine reclamation.
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DNR experience


More on silica sand rulemaking

Learn more about the state's roles in 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 News

08/08/2013: Trout stream setback permit and silica sand reclamation rulemaking projects move forward Full story