The Tiller Corporation sand fracking plant on County Road 30 between North Branch and Harris now has all the proper permits, and will be fully operational in a matter of days.
Mike Caron, director of land use affairs for Tiller Corp., said last week the plant received an air quality permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency the first week of January, which was required before Tiller could legally operate the plant.
Tiller had constructed most of the facility before acquiring the permit, which led to a disciplinary action by the MPCA.
To resolve the violations, the company agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 and perform a Supplementary Environmental Project valued at not less than $14,800. The SEP consists of air monitoring for particulate matter at the site for a period of two years.
Caron said Thursday nearly all of the construction at the facility is complete, and Tiller will be testing its equipment to ensure it’s working property before the plant can operate at a level that meets market demand.
He said the plant should be fully operational in 10 days to two weeks.
At the Chisago County Board of Commissioners meeting Feb. 20, commissioner Mike Robinson raised concerns about how the truck traffic going in and out of the sand fracking plant could affect county roads.
“It will wreck the roads, we know that,” he said.
Chisago County Engineer Joe Triplett agreed with that assertion.
“(The trucks) will use the life out of the road a lot faster than a regular car,” he said.
Triplett noted, depending upon how the roads hold up with the extra traffic, the county might have to think about implementing an accelerated road maintenance schedule.