MPCA rulemaking for silica sand

2013 legislation directed the MPCA to adopt rules for the control of particulate emissions from “silica sand projects” (mining, processing and transportation) in Minnesota.

HTML icon Laws 2013, chapter 114, article 4, section 105

The commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency shall adopt rules pertaining to the control of particulate emissions from silica sand projects. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125.

The MPCA’s rulemaking for silica sand must fit within this legislatively directed scope. The MPCA made its initial Request for Comments on possible silica sand rules broad enough to allow it to consider whether existing water permitting rules provided adequate regulatory authority. It has since determined that existing water permitting rules are adequate.

The MPCA plans to limit its silica sand amendments to the legislative scope of controlling air emissions.

The MPCA plans to use input gained from a nearly year-long advisory panel process to develop and propose draft rules and a Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) in early 2015. Following a public comment period, the MPCA anticipates seeking a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings for added review. It normally takes about two years to promulgate proposed rules but can take longer depending on the level of public interest. The MPCA encourages interested parties to register for notification by e-mail using GovDelivery.  The MPCA will continue to update this page as events occur.

Discussion draft of rules


The MPCA issued a request for comments on July 22, 2013, to get input on the proposed rule.

A second request for comments (September 2014) was extended to Nov. 21, 2014.

The MPCA received further input from members of the Silica Sand Rulemaking Advisory Panel and other stakeholders.

Other rulemaking

Several Minnesota state agencies are involved in implementing the 2013 legislation regarding silica sand mining, processing and transportation in Minnesota.

For more information

If you have questions about the MPCA’s silica sand rulemaking or would like to make comments to the MPCA, please contact Nathan Cooley at 651-757-2290 or

Interested parties can subscribe to an email list to receive information from the MPCA about silica sand rulemaking.

Rules addressing pollutants from silica sand projects

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