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.
While the number of Wisconsin car-train accidents has remained relatively steady in recent years, and derailments actually are down, some residents who live near train tracks used for transporting sand, primarily in western and northwestern communities, complain about noise and traffic delays in addition to safety worries.
Reporter Alison Dirr just finished a yearlong internship with us, during which she covered the sprawling beat of Wisconsin’s fast-growing frac sand industry. We talk about that in the latest podcast. And below the audio link, further reflections from Dirr. Also, we now have music for the podcast. Alison Dirr: After a year as WisconsinWatch’s frac sand beat reporter, I’m leaving with a real appreciation of the complexity and nuance of this controversy.
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.
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.
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.