The Wabasha City Council approved its first frac sand moratorium Tuesday night, which halts all new or expanding operations.
The council also approved a second moratorium, which halts companies with significant truck traffic from expanding to more than 500 regular trips a day or more than 30 heavy trips. A heavy truck is one that weighs more than 26,000 pounds. The truck-traffic moratorium only applies to the west end of town, from east of U.S. Hwy. 61 to northwest of Gambia Avenue.
The push for the two moratoriums, which were also recommended by the city’s planning commission, come from concern that the city will become saturated with truck traffic. There’s already two frac sand hauling operations in town, one of which was approved a little more than two months ago, and both use trucks to haul frac sand to a rail loading facility on the west end of the city.
With truck traffic increasing — especially on the west side — and with no clear information on how Wabasha will adapt to or regulate it, the city wanted to put a halt to expansions until it could study traffic impacts on a city level.
“We need time to study the whole picture,” said mayor Rollin Hall.
Hall did not attend Tuesday’s meeting but said he would have voted in favor of both moratoriums.