Nearly four dozen businesses call for Winona County frac sand ban

Group holds rally before County Commissioners public hearing

Nearly four dozen organizations in Winona County are calling for a ban on frac sand mining.

A total of 47 businesses and other groups in the county sent a letter to the Winona County Board of Commissioners Thursday, asking them to put a stop to any new frac sand mining, processing or transportation operations in the county by passing an amendment to the zoning ordinance.

Barb Nelson, a member of the Land Stewardship Organizing Committee, is worried the fracking industry would potentially contaminate the county’s groundwater and have other negative effects.

“The extreme loss that we would feel, especially when we see what has happened over in Wisconsin. The potential damage to our, every industry, our agriculture industry, our tourism industry,” said Olson.

The group gathered for a rally earlier Thursday evening before attending the county’s final public hearing on the possible frac sand ban.

The county commissioners could make a decision on the ban as soon as next month.