By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
At a hearing held in St. Paul at the Environmental Quality Board, the EQB determined that Houston County is to be the responsible governmental unit for the Erickson Mine.
“The question before the board that we had to consider was, would we as the EQB, be the responsible government unit,” said Megan Eischen, communication specialist for the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.
The meeting, which was held on June 18, was attended by Commissioner Teresa Walter who represented Houston County at the hearing.
In order for the EQB to be named as the responsible governmental unit, the EQB board had to consider three questions. They could only consider those three things in making a determination.
• Was the mine part of a ‘phased action’ over a period of time;
• Is the mine located in the same geographical area;
• Has the mine had the same owner.
“The board decided that it was not part of a phased action and was not the same owner,” said Eischen. “They made the determination that Minnesota Sands is seperate from Erickson.”
This decision now means that Houston County is the responsible governing unit for the Erickson Mine.
More discussion was expected to take place during the June 24 Houston County Board meeting.
We will report what is discussed further in the upcoming issue of The Caledonia Argus.