The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition that sought to overturn a Minnesota county ordinance banning the mining of silica sand, which is used in some Lower 48 well completions.

Natural Gas Production

Minnesota Sands LLC, which filed its initial lawsuit in 2017, was challenging an adverse ruling by the Supreme Court of Minnesota regarding Winona County’s ban imposed in 2016 (No. A18-0090). 

Five years ago Winona County banned sand mining that was commercially “valuable for use in the hydraulic fracturing of shale to obtain oil and natural gas.” However, the county still allowed the same silica sand to be mined for “local construction” uses. 

Minnesota Sands President Rick Frick at the time the company filed the initial lawsuit said, “Banning this type of mining based on the...