Goodhue County mining ban gets 6-month extension
RED WING — Silica sand mining in Goodhue County will have to hold off for at least another six months.
The decision is less than the one-year extension sought by citizens, but the compromise was seen as a victory, said Jody McIlrath, chairwoman of local activist group Save-the-Bluffs.
"It still means a lot of work needs to be done quickly in those six months," McIlrath said.
She said the group will now shift its focus to creating a mining overlay district, which it proposed to the county's Planning Advisory Commission last month. The district would show specifically where mining would and would not be allowed in the county.
A motion to extend the mining moratorium for another year was considered but failed by a 3-2 vote.
The compromise came after a nearly two-hour public hearing in which citizens continued voicing concerns about the health, environmental and economic impacts of silica mining in the county.