Environmental review finalized for proposed gravel mine on St. Croix River bluffs

Comments will be accepted on Scandia’s Zavoral Mine proposal until Sept. 10 and the city council will consider the environmental review Sept. 25.




2 minute read

The city of Scandia, MN released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Zavoral gravel mine proposal earlier this month.

The mine, which if approved would be located on a bluff on the edge of the St. Croix River, has been the focus of intense opposition from neighbors and other community members. A post on St. Croix 360 by Laurie Allmann in April described the risks to the river and the community, as well as to the special character and valuable natural resources of the proposed mine site.

The Final EIS largely serves to respond to comments on the Draft EIS from citizens, interested organizations, and public agencies. Concerns voiced in comments on the Draft EIS included significant truck traffic, potential for containment berms to fail (as occurred in April at a sand mine in Grantsburg, WI owned by the same company), and harm to local businesses. The responses to the comments largely acknowledge that the mine will have negative impacts, but those effects will fall below the standards for “significant.”

Last chances for public participation

The documents are available for review on the city’s website. Comments on the Final EIS will be accepted through 4 p.m., September 10. A special city council meeting will be held September 25 to judge the adequacy of the EIS.

All comments must be submitted in writing to Anne Hurlburt, City Administrator, 14727 209th Street North, Scandia, Minnesota, Phone 651-433-2274, Fax 651-433-5112, a.hurlburt@ci.scandia.mn.us.

Area neighboring the proposed Tiller-Zavoral gravel mine in Scandia.
Area neighboring the proposed mine (photo courtesy property-owner).


One response to “Environmental review finalized for proposed gravel mine on St. Croix River bluffs”

  1. Aldenecke Avatar

    Anyone who loves the beauty and splendor of the protected National Scenic Riverway in our midst needs to be aware of the travesty that may befall this section of the river at the intersection of MN State Highways 95 and 97. A gravel pit will be developed and expanded along the bluffline adjacent to National Park Service land by a company that has recently had an environmental disaster at another pit near Grantsburg, also along the St Croix, if the City of Scandia grants them a Conditional Use Permit. Do you bicycle these roads, do you visit the quaint and charming villages of Marine and Scandia, do you paddle or fish in the the river, do you value the endangered species that uniquely call the St Croix River home? Do you want an extra 560 gravel-hauling semi-trailers a day careening down the road you are biking on, do you want the dust and smell of the mining and hauling to invade your lungs, do you live in the area and want your property values to decrease because of the nearby mine, do you want the potential of another environmental disaster to befall the lower St Croix now in 2012 as it did previously at the same site in the late 1960’s? We know more now about the harmful effects of airborne silica dust, about the negative impacts to the local economy if tourists stay away, about the dangers that silt pollution will mean to the native trout in the streams and the mussels in the river at that location.Please write to the Scandia City Council if you are concerned about this issue and tell them what the importance of the river, the valley and the undisturbed beauty of the area mean to you and how the granting of the CUP would affect your enjoyment of this area which was to have been protected nationally by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and which is now in jeopardy solely for the benefit of one individual to the detriment of all. It is easier and wiser to avoid potential environmental disasters than it is to try to clean them up after they have occured.


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email greg@stcroix360.com


Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlikeCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
Environmental review finalized for proposed gravel mine on St. Croix River bluffs