Wabasha City Council backs frac sand project

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

WABASHA, Minn. (AP) — A proposed rail shipping hub for frac sand got a boost when the Wabasha City Council rejected a request to study the environmental risks.

Monday night's vote could lead to hundreds of truck trips a day through the picturesque Mississippi River town in southeastern Minnesota.

Calgary, Alberta-based Superior Sand Systems plans to build a storage and loading facility along the Canadian Pacific tracks, from which silica sand mined in Wisconsin would be shipped to North Dakota and Texas for use in the oil and gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing.

Dozens of residents and environmentalists sought the environmental review citing health, traffic and safety concerns. But the council voted 5-1 against it after Superior Sands said federal railroad law trumps the state law under which the citizens filed their petition.

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