Teleconference at 3 p.m. on 11-1-19 with DNR Deputy Commissioner Barb Naramore and Conservation assistance and regulations section manager, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, Randall Doneen. They discussed and answered some questions from media regarding Empire Building Investments, the real estate arm of Progressive Rail, preliminary application to drill two wells on six acres in Randolph within a mile of Lake Byllesby in the Cannon River Watershed. KYMN will post the letter the commissioner sent to Empire when we receive it. Bottom line – this is “unprecedented in Minnesota” and unlikely there would be a scenario in which it could happen; however, that doesn’t mean there won’t be another request.
DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a press release just minutes before:
Based on our initial review of the Empire Builder request, we are notifying the company today that we see virtually no scenario where the DNR would grant a water appropriation permit for the project, as it does not appear it could meet applicable statutory requirements, including significant restrictions on use of the Mt. Simon aquifer.