Geology and history put fracking sand in southeastern Minnesota

Later today in southeastern Minnesota, Winona County will hold two forums on frack sand mining.

That might not sound terribly exciting, but the sand mining is a controversial topic in southeastern Minnesota.

The sand, prized for its strength and size is used in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Fracking itself is very controversial in other parts of the country.

On Thursday, the Winona county planning commission will hold a public hearing on whether or not to put a moratorium on frack sand mining. Goodhue and Wabasha counties in that part of Minnesota have put a halt to sand mining.

At today's informational forum in the county, one of the experts scheduled to speak is Tony Runkel. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Runkel, who's the chief geologist of the Minnesota Geological Survey.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.