Rock Products

APR 2017

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14 • ROCK products • April 2017 www.rockproducts.com FRAC SAND INSIDER A group called Southeast Minnesota Property Owners and Roger Dabelstein, a resident of Saratoga Township in Winona County, Minn., have filed a lawsuit in the Third Judicial Dis- trict Court against Winona County over the frac sand ban passed by the county last year, according to the Post-Bulletin. On Nov. 22, 2016, the Winona County Board of Commission- ers voted 3-2 to enact a ban of industrial mining of silica sand for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing. The ban ended mining, transporting and processing silica sand for the pur- pose of fracking but allowed those activities for other uses of silica sand such as cattle bedding or construction. Commissioner Steve Jacob, who often argued a ban could open the county up for possible litigation, commented he was not surprised to see the suit brought against the county. Johanna Rupprecht, of the Land Stewardship Project, which lobbied for the ban, said that the lawsuit is an attack by outside corporate interests on Winona County's democratic decision, and it's outrageous. The complaint maintains that passing a frac sand ban was "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious and violates the United States and Minnesota Constitutions, including, spe- cifically, the equal protection, due process and takings clauses of these constitutions and the interstate commerce clause of the United States Constitution." "They're banning certain kinds of sand mining, but other kinds are okay as long as the end use is okay," said Gary Van Cleve, an attorney for Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, the Minneapolis-based law firm hired by the plaintiffs. "There's no rational basis for that." Others opposed to the ban, including representatives of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, have also argued that the restrictions constituted unconstitutional takings. Frac Sand Educational Session a Success at ConExpo-Con/Agg At the recent ConExpo-Con/Agg show in Las Vegas, Rock Products sponsored an educational session entitled "Frac Sand: How Technology and Market Dynamics will Drive Future Success." The session – moderated by Editor Mark S. Kuhar – included presentations by: • Joel Schneyer, managing director, Headwaters MB. •  Mark Krumenacher senior principal/senior vice president, GZA Geoenvironmental. • Matthew Lear, regional sales manager, McLanahan Corp. "Rig counts, company budgets and frac sand forecasts have turned a corner, and there are a number of positive develop- ments in the marketplace," said Schneyer in his presentation "Shifting Sands." Drilling activity is on the upswing driven by horizontal wells, according to Schneyer, and new completion trends are creat- ing demand drivers for frac sand. "Operators are using more sand, and are finding finer and lower-quality sand fits the needs as well as their tight budgets," he said. Schneyer cited a number of factors in the proppant market, leading to the conclusion that U.S. sand demand is poised for a market resurgence. Krumenacher addressed the challenges frac sand producers face obtaining special use permits for nonmetallic mining operations. In preaching the importance of community out- reach, he recommended: • Engaging multiple stakeholders. •  Understanding the regulatory environment, ongoing research and education. •  Addressing concerns in technically sound, straightforward documentation that supports a permit application. "The overwhelming public information concerning the impacts of mining is negative," Krumenacher said. "Their concerns are based on real issues, but the science is inten- tionally ignored." He noted strategies for success, including joining professional associations; getting involved in the community; developing a strong technical team; and addressing concerns early. Lear detailed some of the equipment and technical expertise that is required for a successful frac sand operation. "The goal is to liberate individual silica particles, remove non-silica contaminants, liberate and remove clay impurities, remove non frac sand size fractions and break up clusters," Lear said. "Depending on your deposit, you need the right kind of equipment." He spoke about single-stage frac sand plants; slurry pumps; cyclones; separators; hydrosizers; clarifiers and other equip- ment designed to maximize production efficiencies and increase profitability. Property Owners Challenge Minnesota Frac Sand Ban Joel Schneyer Mark Krumenacher Matthew Lear

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