DNR and Silica Sand

DNR's role in silica sand projects and general information about silica sand mining


The DNR is committed to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources. Over the past several years, there has been concern about the human health and environmental impacts of silica sand mining, processing, and transportation in Minnesota. The demand for silica sand is being driven by an increased production of domestic oil and gas. To address these concerns, the 2013 Minnesota Legislature passed and Governor Mark Dayton signed into legislation several laws related to silica sand mining and associated activities. Listed here are the projects that the DNR is a participating agency in or lead agency.

Silca sand laws


Map of Active Silica Sand Mines

Click on map image for a full size PDF

map of active silica sand mines


DNR News

08/08/2013: Trout stream setback permit and silica sand reclamation rulemaking projects move forward Full story


DNR Contact

Heather Arends
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045
Email: heather.arends@state.mn.us
Telephone: 651-259-5376 or 888-646-6367

DNR Silica Sand Projects

Learn about DNR's role in silica sand related projects.
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Rulemaking and reclamation

Trout stream setback permit

Tools for local government

Technical assistance team

State silica sand website


Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQs as PDF

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What is silica sand?

What type of industries use silica sand?

Where is silica sand found?

What is the status of silica sand mining in Minnesota?

How is it mined?

What is "fracking"?

Is fracking for oil and gas occurring in Minnesota?

Why here? What makes our sand so unique?

Who regulates silica sand mining?

Who are the other regulating authorities?