November 6, 2014

Frac Sand News Roundup: ‘I’m a ban guy … Now is our only opportunity’

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


The city of Whitehall in Trempealeau County has requested state approval to build a third well “to keep up with the thirst of its newest and largest water customer” — a frac sand processing plant operated by Texas-based Hi-Crush Proppants LLC. Water demand by the plant could reach 1.2 million gallons per day by 2018. La Crosse Tribune October 26

As frac sand mining gains momentum in north-central Illinois, officials are starting to notice the effects. Issues such as increased traffic, damaged roads and a spike in demand for rail car — aka all the same complaints heard in Wisconsin for a few years now — are gaining public attention. News Tribune October 28

Frac sand mining opponents in Houston County, Minn., submitted a 450-signature petition to ban all frac sand mining within the county. Officials couldn’t say definitively whether a full-out ban will happen or not, but they did seem to be in favor of the idea. “I’m a ban guy,” said county commissioner Dana Kjome. “Now is our only opportunity.” Houston County News October 29

A new frac sand study conducted by students and professors at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, on air quality near frac sand sites, has been accepted for publication in November’s edition of the Journal of Environmental Health. Lead author Crispin Pierce said preliminary results don’t show an immediate threat, but more research is needed. WQOQ October 30

In accordance with new state requirements, the city of Winona, Minn., is drafting a resolution which will support new state requirements for air monitoring near frac sand mining facilities. One of the state proposals is to place monitoring stations at facilities’ fence lines. Winona Daily News November 4

Denton, Texas, could become the first city in the Lone Star State to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Voters there just approved drastic restrictions on the practice, but state and industry officials as well as state lawmakers have pledged to block the new ordinance. Texas has one of the largest fracking industries in the country, so changes in the industry there could have a major impact on the frac sand mining industry in Wisconsin, the nation’s number one producer of frac sand. Star-Telegram November 5