Wabasha council vote today on silica sand transport facilityby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Wabasha Planning Board will decide Friday whether to allow Calgary-based Superior Sand Systems to build a sand transport facility in town.
If approved, trucks carrying silica sand may start to move through the southeastern Minnesota town of Wabasha as early as next week.
The company wants to build the facility along the Canadian Pacific tracks on the northwest side of the Mississippi River town.
Most of the sand would be hauled from Wisconsin either to North Dakota or south to Texas. There, energy and mining companies would use the sand to extract oil and natural gas from the ground in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Superior Sand Systems is working with the city's planning board to address many of the residents' concerns, said Paul van Eijl, lands acquisitions manager for the company.
"Our company is very excited to move forward and just start shipping product. That's going to be a very good business for the city and we're looking forward to it," van Eijl said.
"It can happen very quickly. They can lay down the rail ties and the rail lines very quickly and we have a unit that we can bring in to begin to load rail cars," he said.
Earlier this week, the city council decided not to require Superior Sand Systems to complete an environmental review. The company will establish air quality monitors immediately, as well as begin work on a traffic impact study, van Eijl said.