October 24, 2014

Frac Sand news roundup: Conservative calls activists’ concerns ‘lots of scare, little science’

The latest in Wisconsin frac sand. See our in-depth stories since 2011 on our frac sand project page

As North Dakota oil and Wisconsin frac sand clogs the state’s rail lines, other Wisconsin businesses are left asking, “Wait, what about us?” Wisconsin State Journal October 13

In response to a recent study from environmental research group Civil Society Institute calling frac sand mining a serious threat to the environment, a researcher from the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute writes an op-ed saying it’s nothing more than ‘lots of scare, little science.’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel October 13

Some science is emerging, though: preliminary data from Winona County shows residents have little to worry about when it comes to air quality from trucks hauling frac sand, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Inside Climate News October 16

With elections just two weeks away, Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin’s environment is better off now than it was four years ago, despite criticisms on changes from wetland flooding to iron ore mining. Wisconsin Public Radio October 15

With roughly 800 signatures so far, supporters of a petition asking for a comprehensive statewide study on frac sand mining impacts will address the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board next week. Wisconsin State Journal October 17

It’s been a long week for Texas-based mining company Superior Silica Sands. First, Trempealeau County admits it mistakenly accused the company of permit violations in the Town of Arcadia — at a mine that was apparently being mined by a different company despite being festooned with Superior Silica signs. Then, a move by the City of Independence to annex land for the mine was almost reversed by state officials. But just when those in two nearby towns were considering suing the mine, Superior Silica showed up to offer them money to resume annexation — and officials are now reconsidering their opposition to it. Star Tribune October 14-15, and Wisconsin Public Radio October 17

Wisconsin-based Alpine Sand LLC in the Town of Arcadia has been ordered to pay $80,000 after violating its storm water pollution discharge permit. The violation was discovered after a Department of Natural Resources inspection of the facility at the beginning of the month. Wisconsin Department of Justice October 20

Just over the river in Houston County, Minn., residents are taking petition-signing to a whole new level, asking for a ban on all frac sand mining. Meanwhile, frac sand moves to the front in debates for the county’s upcoming district commissioner race. WKBT-La Crosse October 21, and PostBulletin October 15