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Frac sand ban to be heard in MN Court of Appeals

ST. PAUL — Winona County’s ban on frac sand mining will have its day at the Minnesota Court of Appeals on May 10 at 10:05 a.m.

Justices Matthew E. Johnson, Lucinda E. Jesson and Renee L. Worke will hear the appeal filed by Minnesota Sands LLC.

The case against the ban — which was originally passed in November 2016 — was originally brought to district court in Winona. Minnesota Sands argued that the ban was a violation of the company’s state and federal constitutional rights based on equal protection, substantive due process, interstate commerce clause, and takings.

The case was dismissed by District Court Judge Mary Leahy with prejudice.

Oral arguments will be heard May 10 in the Minnesota Supreme Court in St. Paul at the Judicial Center.


The ban restricts the mining, storage and transportation of silica sand in Winona County, prohibiting those activities for sand being mined for industrial purposes, specifically sand that would be used for hydraulic fracturing, the process of removing oil from shale rock.

The same sand can be mined, stored, processed and transported for other uses, such as construction material or cattle bedding.

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