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Jody McIlrath of near Red Wing tells reporters Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, that sand mining is dangerous. She stands near photos of Wisconsin sand mining operations. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Minnesota sand mining legislative testimony fractured

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ST. PAUL -- Sand mined in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin opens up cracks between rocks so oil and gas can be removed from the ground in places such as North Dakota.

But mining the silica sand also is splitting residents of the areas where it is mined, as legislators discovered Tuesday when the two sides testified.

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