Pattison Sand Co., which recently opened a site in Wisconsin, is facing concerns over the growth of its Iowa mine, which has a worst-in-the-nation safety record.
The Center is known for its comprehensive coverage of frac sand mining. But let’s face it … our stories are long. So in the meantime here’s a quick introduction to the issues, from local control to dusty air.
Accessible sand can bring a windfall for some landowners. Others worry that proximity to sand mines is bringing down the value of their homes. And in some communities, a safety net of sorts is emerging.
A legislative hearing Monday on a revised attempt to limit local governments’ authority to regulate nonmetallic mining, including existing frac sand mines, drew support from mining representatives but opposition from town leaders.
Mining companies, Chippewa County and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls are teaming up on a $232,000, five-year study probing how the vast tracts of Wisconsin used for nonmetallic mining — including for frac sand — can best be reclaimed.
Frac sand mining company Preferred Sands of Wisconsin has been ordered to pay $200,000 for stormwater and air permit violations at its facility near Blair, a Trempealeau County city.
The draft bill, now being circulated for cosponsors, would bar local governments from regulating some aspects of nonmetallic mining, including its impacts on air quality, water, road use and reclamation.
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.
A new report says that the overall economic impact of frac sand mining will be minimal, and cautions communities to consider the potential costs of mining along with the benefits.
Audio from Minnesota Public Radio News on the difference between the two states’ approaches to regulating the growing frac sand mining industry.
Minnesota Public Radio News hosts a Q&A with Minnesota Chief Geologist Tony Runkel on frac sand mining.
The rapid growth in Wisconsin’s frac sand industry is slowing, thanks to lower prices and increased supply. The sand is still in demand, but people who expected that they could get rich quick on the state’s sandy soils may be disappointed.