In this small city in northwestern Wisconsin, the mayor and two council members are facing recall elections over their handling of a proposed frac sand mine that would be built a half-mile south of a school.
The impact of a controversial bill that would restrict local government regulation of frac sand mines might be broader than originally thought, affecting the proposed iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin and factory farms across the state, opponents said Thursday at a Capitol hearing. Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s frac sand boom may have slowed, but the number of permitted and proposed facilities still has grown since the Center’s May tally. Continue Reading
Like some other west-central Wisconsin residents, Frances and Dean Sayles are frustrated with the state Department of Natural Resources’ lack of a comprehensive approach to addressing concerns surrounding potential health problems from crystalline silica dust. Now some residents, academics, local government officials and even a frac sand producer have begun taking action. Continue Reading
When I started reporting on the frac sand beat for my Center internship, I had no inkling that silica sand mining could have much of anything to do with my hometown of Minneapolis. Continue Reading
Photos accompanying reporter Tegan Wendland’s audio feature on the harvest camp. Continue Reading
Hard to say whether it was the fry bread passed out by tribal members to supervisors on the Iron County Board, but the outcome was positive for the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tuesday as the board voted to work with the band and find a way to keep a controversial harvest camp open in the Penokee Range. Continue Reading
Tribal officials and a treaty law expert say the Iron County camp, dubbed a harvest camp by Ojibwe, or Chippewa, lays the foundation for a possible legal case invoking their federal treaty rights. Continue Reading
Bill Williams, GTAC president, said the company is licensed in Arizona but not in Wisconsin. “We understand they have applied for the appropriate Wisconsin license but not yet had their application approved.” Continue Reading
Despite harsh criticism from two northern legislators and an outcry from anti-mining activists, a spokesman for Gogebic Taconite said Tuesday that armed, paramilitary-style guards will continue to patrol the site deep in the Penokee Range where the company wants to build a large open pit iron mine. Continue Reading
Competing studies are under way to assess air pollution from Wisconsin’s frac sand industry, and the author of one said current state law isn’t protecting people well enough. A separate study, meanwhile, will examine the impact of frac sand mines on water.
Nearly a fifth of Wisconsin’s 70 active frac sand mines and processing plants were cited for environmental violations last year, as the industry continued to expand at a rapid clip. Continue Reading