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Minnesota appeals court upholds Winona County frack-sand ban

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

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

Minnesota Sands and a group of landowners argued the mining ordinance from 2016 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 that can unlock underground oil and natural-gas reserves.

Richard Frick, president of Minnesota Sands, 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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