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Lawsuit challenges Winona County's frac sand ban

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A group of property owners has sued Winona County over its frac sand ban.

The Post-Bulletin reports the Southeast Minnesota Property Owners and Saratoga Township resident Roger Dabelstein filed the suit in the Third Judicial District Court on March 14.

The Winona County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to enact the ban Nov. 22. It ended mining, transporting and processing silica sand for the purpose of fracking but allowed those activities for other uses of silica sand, such as cattle bedding or construction.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Gary Van Cleve, says allowing some kinds of silica sand mining but not others doesn't provide equal protection.

Commissioner Steve Jacob, who argued a ban could open the county up for possible litigation, says he wasn't surprised to see the suit brought against the county.


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