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Winona County frack sand ban upheld by appeals court

Company and landowners were challenging the rule.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 4:52 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld Winona County's frack sand ban.

The appeals court Monday affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit from a company that challenged the ordinance.

Minnesota Sands and a group of landowners argued the 2016 mining ordinance violates their constitutional rights by singling out sand used for industrial purposes, such as fracking, while allowing mining for local construction uses.

But the La Crosse Tribune reports the appeals panel rejected that argument.

Silica sand is used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling process used to unlock underground oil and natural gas reserves.

Minnesota Sands president Richard Frick, of Dakota, Minnesota, said in a statement the company is "extremely disappointed" by the ruling and is considering whether to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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