For Media Inquiries, contact Jeremy at 608-317-5700
3.3.15 County Commissioners failED to vote in favor of a ban despite overwhelming public support for a ban.
March 2, 2015 Media Release:
Current and former public officials gather to urge Houston County, MN Commissioners to ban frac sand on 3/3/15. -Powerful community coalition is formed-
TROUBLE IN HOUSTON COUNTY! Commissioners appear to be BACKING OUT of their 2/18/15 unanimous vote to ban frac sand. Now... they want to REGULATE. This would be VERY bad for Houston county. Attend the 3/3/15 9am Commissioners meeting in Caledonia. Demand a ban! Details in this flyer!
2.19.15 F.R.E.E. Media Release:
Houston County, MN Commissioners adopt frac sand ban language to mining ordinance--F.R.E.E. members are singing in celebration.
Families Resisting Energy Extraction Media Contact: Jeremy Chipps 608-317-5700 www.freehoustonsand.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 19, 2015- La Crescent, Caledonia, Brownsville, Houston, Hokah, Spring Grove (Houston County, Minnesota)
Residents of historic bluff country in southeastern Minnesota are singing “success.” Houston County is on the way to being the FIRST county in Minnesota or Wisconsin to ban frac sand (silica) mining. An overwhelming cry from county residents placed immense pressure on the County Commissioners, who yesterday (Feb. 18, 2015) unanimously agreed to add language to the mining ordinance that will prohibit frac sand mining in the county. "This is an amazing move and victory for the people, stated Kelley Stanage," Land Stewardship Project member and Houston MN resident. "We must now be certain that the ordinance is monitored and enforced." The next step is for the County Commissioners to vote on the ordinance within the next two weeks—as early as Feb. 24 at 9 a.m.
"We are incredibly happy for this decision," exclaimed Lys Swift, F.R.E.E member (Families Resisting Energy Extraction) and La Crescent resident. "Our families of Houston County are thankful to the Commissioners and expect they will hold to their decision while the county attorney completes the final detailed draft. Houston County residents will be free from the dangers of frac sand mining and our beautiful blufflands will be protected from destruction. We, the people of MN and WI, have an ethical and moral responsibility to keep our region safe—this begins here and now with this forthcoming ordinance."
Over 175 people attended the Public Hearing in the Commissioners Room in Caledonia on Feb. 18, stating their concerns and singing the tune with a local guitarist, “This sand is your sand, this sand is my sand." Television network affiliates from Wisconsin and Minnesota covered the story extensively, which is a major step for the people of Minnesota. Through their voices and organizing, the people have put “sand” in the machinery of extreme energy resource extraction in Houston County.
The most important thing that county residents should do now is to assure the ordinance is passed into law in one of the next two Commissioners meetings (2/24 or 3/3) and then we will set a precedence as the first county in Wisconsin and Minnesota to fully ban frac sand mining for industrial use,” stated Bruce Kuehmichel, Houston County Protectors member. “This is a strike to the industry in the heart of frac sand country.
The Houston County attorney is currently reviewing the new ordinance with the frac sand ban language and the County Commission is expected to vote on the full ordinance next Tues. Feb. 24 during the weekly meeting at 9 a.m. in Caledonia at the County Building. Supporters of the ban are encouraged to attend his meeting in support of the vote to ban frac sand mining.
Houston County Government Accountability Project (www.houstoncountyrealitycheck.com)
Houston County Official Website - www.houston.mn.us