Planning commission forwards mining ordinance to the councilFollowing delays, commission brings mining on UMore land one step closer to reality
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
It took longer than expected but the Rosemount Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended the city council pass an ordinance to regulate large scale mining.
The council will make the final decision at its May 15 meeting. The council will also discuss the ordinance at its May 9 work session.
Approval of the ordinance will pave the way for Dakota Aggregates to mine 1,250 acres in southern Rosemount. Before it can begin mining the company will have to apply for a permit. During that process the public will have the opportunity to speak on the specifics of Dakota Aggregate’s mining operations.
The planning commission held its first public hearing regarding the issue in February. To take more public comment the planning commission held over the public hearing to the March 27 meeting.
At the March meeting the commission voted on the ordinance and it failed, 3-3. Commissioners Vanessa DeMuth, Wade Miller and Mike Weber opposed the ordinance because of environmental concerns raised about issues including ground water monitoring, a lack of definition for clean fill and reclamation standards.
During the March meeting Miller also asked that staff make more of a connection between the Environmental Impact Statement and the ordinance.
At this week’s meeting DeMuth thanked staff for working to address her concerns.
Before voting, commissioner Bruno DiNella asked what would happen if quality and quantity of the ground water should be compromised.
City planner Eric Zweber said ground water will be monitored and if changes are noted Dakota Aggregates will be required to change their operations. He added that the purpose of the monitoring is to head off any problems.
The council voted in favor of the recommendation, 7-0.
In other business, the planning commission recommended the council approve an Interim Use Permit so SKB Environmental can compost on its site. The company will take in yard waste, source compostable materials, sewage and industrial sludge. In addition, SKB will take organic food waste from schools, hospitals and restaurants.
SKB representative Rick O’Gara said the composted materials will be used at the SKB sites and not sold to the public.
Two residents spoke at a public hearing on the matter. Frank Dole said he did not like the idea of more activity on the SKB property and asked if odor would be a problem.
O’Gara said SKB has composted on several of its sites and never had any violations.
“We believe in doing it correctly. We have done this for many, many years and have never had a violation,” said O’Gara.
O’Gara said taking sludge is fairly common. He added that the sludge would be tested for chemicals before it is added to the compost. The sludge will have to meet the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s standards.
The commission unanimously approved the recommendation.