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Wilton gravel site to proceed with revisions

A company proposing to expand a gravel site in Wilton, Minn., six miles northeast of Bemidji, now may seek local permits and approvals after modifying the project to address environmental concerns.

A company proposing to expand a gravel site in Wilton, Minn., six miles northeast of Bemidji, now may seek local permits and approvals after modifying the project to address environmental concerns.

As the responsible government unit for the project, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently concluded that modifications addressed environmental concerns and a lengthy Environmental Impact Statement would not be required for the project to proceed.

"The project as now proposed does not have potential for significant environmental effects," said Matt Langan, DNR environmental planner who is coordinating the project. "Modifications to the proposals have addressed concerns expressed by the community during the 30-day comment period on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet."

Northstar Materials Inc., which proposed the project, agreed to reduce the area and depth of gravel mining. The project no longer will include mining operations below the water table. In addition, a 200- to 300-foot deep vegetative buffer between County Road 14 and the site has been incorporated to reduce visual and noise effects. The modified plan also requires the area be reclaimed and reforested after mining operations.

- Herald staff report

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