A Minnesota Senate committee has rejected a proposal to protect trout streams from potential impacts from silica sand mining.
Minnesota Public Radio reports the measure was defeated on a mostly party-line vote Tuesday, with Republicans and two Iron Range DFLers opposed. It would have required silica sand mines to be at least a mile from any spring or trout stream.
Peder Larson of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council testified the requirement would essentially prevent sand mining in southeastern Minnesota.
But John Lenczewski of Trout Unlimited testified that trout angling is a billion-dollar industry in the region, and that silica sand mines threaten the cold water springs that sustain the fisheries. He says thousands of jobs that depend on trout fishing and the state's investments in habitat could be lost.