Officials in Wabasha in southeast Minnesota appear ready to go to court if necessary to try to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from temporarily storing sand dredged from the Mississippi River near a residential area before it’s trucked elsewhere. Mayor Rollin Hall says a couple hundred thousand cubic yards would be left to dry for a year, then trucked out, and that process repeated for 30 to 40 years. Hall points to “noise pollution, the air pollution possibly; the safety… in the neighborhood with children; and maybe our property values will be negatively affected.” The Army Corps of Engineers announced today it’s extending the comment period for a third time, which officials say gives the public more time to understand the plan and suggest alternatives.
Hall says city officials also don’t like where the Army Corps plans to put the dredged sand after it’s trucked out of Wabasha. He says, “That is some fine farmland…. they’re talking about covering that farmland with 15 feet of sand or dredging on a permanent basis.”