April 16, 2013
The Fillmore County board is expected to discuss the Rein silica-sand quarry, located near Highland, Minnesota, on April 23, following the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requesting the board to look into whether the quarry should be part of a study of quarrying in the region, PostBulletin.com reported.
The study, conducted by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), largely focuses on the environmental impacts of Minnesota Sands LLC in Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties. Though the company does not operate the Rein quarry, MPCA recommended the quarry be included in the study because it could affect the area being studied.
The Rein quarry, which has been extracting silica sand for about five years, has requested permission to expand from 18.6 acres to 50 acres and has already prepared an environmental assessment worksheet. A full environmental impact statement (EIS) would take another year.
The EQB still needs to meet with those proposing projects to discuss what will be studied and how much the study would cost before deciding the scope of the EIS.