Frac sand mining industry booms in western Wisconsin
— Tom Woletz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin’s sand is in demand for use in the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Frac sand mining has surged in recent years, growing from a handful of sites to at least 115 permitted facilities. This growth boom has divided communities across sandy western Wisconsin — those who believe mining will create sorely needed jobs against those who fear the consequences these mines may have on human health, road safety and the environment.
Frac sand industry across Wisconsin, October 2013
You can download a spreadsheet of the data here: Frac sand mines and plants, October 2013 update
REPORTING THIS STORY
Alison Dirr covers the frac sand beat. Contact her with tips.
TV & RADIO
The health risks of silica dust
On Wisconsin Public Radio: The Center’s Tegan Wendland reported on the health controversy from New Auburn, a western Wisconsin village with two frac sand mines on its edges. Oct. 7, 2013
On Wisconsin Public Television: Here and Now visited sand mines in Menomonie and Maiden Rock and talked with Crispin Pierce, a professor of environmental public health at UW-Eau Claire, about the potential health risks from silica dust exposure.
The demand for sand
-Tom Beekman, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, December 2012.
Economic growth and environmental concerns
-Charlie Walker, president of the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, Aug 2012.