Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin:

Sand turns a rural county upside-down

Land Stewardship Audio File excellent synopsis.

Sand Mining Takes Toll on Wisconsin As Fracking Escalates Nationwide!

Northwestern Wisconsin is experiencing a large expansion of frac sand mining and processing operations. Frac Sand is used to help extract oil and gas from previously hard to reach shale deposits. It is exported from Wisconsin to places with gas and oil bearing shale where it is used in a combined process called hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Frac sand is mixed with high volumes of water and toxic chemicals and forced into the shale, where it holds open fissures allowing the oil or gas to be extracted.

Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are causing well publicized concerns for public health wherever it is done. Wisconsin communities have similar concerns: destruction of productive agricultural land, risks of water contamination and depletion, degraded property values, loss of traditional rural communities, noise and traffic increases, and threats to health and safety.

Each of the thousands of oil and gas wells can use as much as 3 million pounds of sand for completion.(See, ) Demand for frac sand will be as limitless as demand for oil and gas. It is expected that many thousands of acres of Wisconsin hills, farmland and woods will be converted to open pit mines, with the transport and processing of sand occurring across the region. Therefore, the public health risks of frac sand mining must be more fully understood.

Large scale mining operations will increase the amounts of both Particulate Matter (PM) and Respirable Crystalline Silica in the air. These pollutants at certain levels can cause respiratory illnesses, including silicosis, and do pose a public health threat.


  1. Emerge Energy Buys Prized Wisconsin Reserves

    Darren Barbee Hart Energy Thursday December 24, 2015

    Emerge’s subsidiary, Superior Silica Sands LLC, purchased assets and interests in 94 million tons of Northern White silica sand reserves in Jackson County, Wis. The reserves weigh about 1 million tons more than all of the fish caught globally in 2013.

    “While not of a working mine, it represents the first major sand acquisition in the downturn, and is indicative of narrowing bid-ask spreads within the industry,” said J. Marshall Adkins, analyst, Raymond James.

    The assets include owned and leased land, sand deposit leases and related prepaid royalties, and transferable mining and reclamation permits.

    The purchase price was not disclosed. Emerge said that in consideration for the assets, Superior and PTL amended an existing supply agreement and entered into a new sand purchase option agreement. The agreement provides PTL with market-based discounts on sand purchases from Superior.

    Superior said Dec. 23 it purchased the reserves from Seventy Seven Energy Inc.’s subsidiary, Performance Technologies LLC (PTL). Due to the market conditions for proppant** demand, construction of a new facility will be on hold until the North American oil and gas markets improve. [**A proppant is a solid material, typically sand, treated sand or man-made ceramic materials, designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment.]

  2. Christmas Eve 2015
    Emerge Energy Buys Prized Wisconsin Reserves

    Darren Barbee Hart Energy Thursday December 24, 2015

    Emerge’s subsidiary, Superior Silica Sands LLC, purchased assets and interests in 94 million tons of Northern White silica sand reserves in Jackson County, Wis. The reserves weigh about 1 million tons more than all of the fish caught globally in 2013.

    “While not of a working mine, it represents the first major sand acquisition in the downturn, and is indicative of narrowing bid-ask spreads within the industry,” said J. Marshall Adkins, analyst, Raymond James.

    The assets include owned and leased land, sand deposit leases and related prepaid royalties, and transferable mining and reclamation permits.

    The purchase price was not disclosed. Emerge said that in consideration for the assets, Superior and PTL amended an existing supply agreement and entered into a new sand purchase option agreement. The agreement provides PTL with market-based discounts on sand purchases from Superior.

    Superior said Dec. 23 it purchased the reserves from Seventy Seven Energy Inc.’s subsidiary, Performance Technologies LLC (PTL). Due to the market conditions for proppant** demand, construction of a new facility will be on hold until the North American oil and gas markets improve. [**A proppant is a solid material, typically sand, treated sand or man-made ceramic materials, designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment.]

  3. I hope readers of this page will listen to and share the anti-fracking song “What The Frack!” (2014 CD “Barrel Ride”) by singer-songwriter Bill McIver. Proceeds from online sales of “What The Frack!” will be donated to non-profit groups fighting against this insane use of precious water.

  4. Steven Andrews says: just published my e-book, a novella that deals with the down sides of frac sand mining. Titled THE TOWN THAT COMMITTED SUICIDE, it costs $0.99 and can be found in the Amazon Kindle store.

    Steve Andrews

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here is a good source of information on fracking accidents — or “fraccidents.” Let’s hope that it doesn’t happen to your community.

  6. I am doing school project and it hurts our enviooment and water and our air and animals

  7. Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I would like
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    so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite
    nice article.

  8. yo frak sand minin iz da bes. yo stubid. you dont got swagg.

    • Yikes! This website gets all kinds. Keep up the good work, Hank. We need them all if we are to continue to educate those who can be educated.

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  10. anyone who agrees with this “its a good thing” crap is a moron, frac mining is a huge enviromental no no and a health hazard! duh.

    • Lets look at EOG mining group in Chippewa Falls. 2 years in production. 1 mile from St. Josephs Hospital. The mayor of Chippewa Falls says, all the concerns and problems we were told to watch for, never happened. and to top it off, they just received 1.4 million in added tax revenue for their residents…sounds like it’s working to me.

      • Jerry Lausted says:

        EOG is paying back its loan (TIF)to the city. I seriously doubt it is paying any real estate tax that goes to schools or other levels of government.
        None of its manufactuing equipement is taxable and its land value is frozen at pre TIF levels.
        The news release on the amount of taxes it pays is misleading

  11. Shawn Luck says:

    Wisconsin residents, find a lawyer and ask about “Law of nuisance”. You have rights regarding what your neighbors can do that affects your quality of life and pursuit of happiness. Yes, it will cost some money, but it’s worth it for sure.

  12. Terry Erickson says:

    Two weeks ago I attended a talk at St. Mary’s College in Winona and listened to a Mayo Clinic physician relate the health findings and concerns he had about silica sand mining and related impacts from diesel particulates. His talk raised so many important questions and issues, most importantly that fact that Wisconsin or Minnesota have no silica sand air standards.

    As a resident of Winona I thank all of you in Wisconsin who continue to fight to be heard and make a difference on this issue. To date, permitting of new mines has been stopped in Minnesota until EIS work is completed. The process will take more than year, buying time time for the state legislature and other regulatory agencies to weigh in on the issue.

    The mining companies may think they have pulled a fast one in Wisconsin, establishing mining operations with little oversight or public input. They will learn as many industries have that these tactics carry with them legal liabilities. I know I would not invest my money in a business with the future liability and risks that they will undoubtedly face regarding impacts to public health and the environment.

  13. All im going to say is i work with these mines everday and they help alot of people pay the bills and whether or not you realize it we all drive cars and all need petroleum to refine to run those cars anyone who says these mines are bad and should be stopped is a hipacrit who participates as equally as everyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      we all need gravel and the way its mined must be controlled but fracking is a bunch of bull it dosent creat enough jobs to ofset the devistation you are just helping these corps get rich. they do not give give a crap about you or anyones health

    • We can’t continue to use the excuse of producing our own patrolium to fill our needs when we are exporting oil to other countries. If we need it so badly, why do we sell it?

    • curt w. says:

      I agree with you Robert, furthermore, many people don’t realize that those “weekend retreats to the lake” they may take up north in the summer time, whether it be in Wi or Mn, may very well be old open pit mines that were reclaimed many years ago. There are many “lakes” in these two stated that are just that. Secondly, as far as shipping our oil to other countries goes….we wouldn’t need to if our own country had enough refineries to handle our oil production, or if the Keystone was allowed to be built. Last, but not least, it also used in the drilling for natural gas, so with all that in mind, for those who don’t agree with it…perhaps buy a covered wagon and start heating your home with wood stoves again, because with out these two “commodities” that is exactly what we would all be doing. These are just my thoughts and opinions of which like everyone else on here, I am entitled to express.

    • Leslie Vodinelich says:

      Robert, the short term benefit of “paying the bills” will NEVER outweigh the damage that the frac sand mining operations are doing long term to your and your children’s health and welfare not to mention the damage you are doing to your home environment. The old open pit mines that Curt speaks of didn’t use silica sand to crack open the Earth’s crust and pollute the water. The by-product of this process which is natural gas is “burned off” rather than harvested for use by the public. It is so plentiful that it would not be worth the price we’re paying for it now to heat our homes and therefore is considered not profitable for the company to collect and sell so the benefits of which you speak are really not there at all. The correlation of frac sand mining to an increase in seismic shifts in Oklahoma and silicosis of the lungs of 75 mines workers in Northwestern Wisconsin should not be overlooked just because the industry is providing you with a paycheck. These are the thoughts and opinions that I am entitled to express.

  14. veronica brown says:

    I would LOVE to see your page on Facebook. It’s good to have a web site, but it’s easier to network on FB right now. It’s possible to just start a FB group. I think we need a statewide organization to fight this effectively. I have been mapping these ‘pits’ on google by county, and it is very distressing to see the spread of them. I am not in an area directly affected by the mines, but I care deeply about the hills of Wisconsin, about our farmland, our water, our air. Sand mining at this rate, can not be tolerated.

    • veronica brown says:

      Thank you for your reply. The problem with so many sites that don’t feed into one, is a person has to belong to all of them, which I am endeavoring to do. But it is getting hard to keep track! If we had one big clearinghouse organization that we could submit all the news from all the counties to, it would help inform those of us in SE and SCentral WI where we don’t get local news from NW Wisconsin and we are also relatively unaffected by the sand mining. Yes, you do have to act locally, but, we need to inform statewide and nationally. I expect sand mining will accelerate greatly with our state political situation for the next 2 years.

  15. Let’s face up to eveybodyYou cannot stop big money period,THe mining companies have boughten out our people that run out townships,our county governments, the people that run our governments. and our schools Cause Money talks period.
    If you elected a Republican you voted for dereguation of sand mines etc. My idea the people in the townships should have a say by voting for it or against it .But that will never happen.

    I think John Denver was so right when he wrote Rocky Mountain High . These sand mines have turned neighbor against neighbor and thats to bad. It’s to bad we cannot find a common way to work this out maturerly .

  16. Im a radiology tech student at cvtc and am studying the respiratory system and various pathologies. Silicosis is one of them, which is the hardening of the lungs… the signs regularly don’t show up until 20 years after exposure, although the symptoms are sooner. The same goes for asbestos..20 years.

  17. I grew up on a dairy farm in Barron County. I own 40 acres of the family farm. Surrounding neighbors are going to allow sand mining right by my land. I currently have a spring which feeds into a creek which currently has a trout population. I have eaten these trout and they were great. I guess I can kiss all this goodbye! Does anyone care out side the state? Does the governor care what’s being done to agricultural land? When everyone gets cancer, will the sand companies pay for their medical expenses? Will the sand mining companies claim eminent domain and take my land from me because, most assuredly, I have that sand on my land. Will my mother, who lives just down the road eventually get lung cancer and die from that because there is already an operation underway less than 1/4 mile up the road and she’s down wind? Then lung cancer will have taken both of my parents. It’s sad to think my home will look like Mars.

    • i agree. it is not right to keep taking and taking from the earth and never give anything back. i almost DONT want to think about where we’ll be in 50 years.

    • Cancer? are you kidding? half the people in barron county live on a dirt road! its the same thing. I dont see that causing cancer. Im sorry large companies with thousands of workers who are trying to make a living feeding their families dont care about you eating your trout. Go buy a rod and fish on a lake. lets have and opened mind and stop being so selfish.

    • curt w. says:

      And when they approach you to offer you money to extract this sand because you have the mineral rights of your property, and they offer you several thousands of dollars a month…PLEASE make sure you turn them down.

  18. John Williams says:

    This is bringing the country back economically. Get over it. Jobs jobs jobs jobs

    • Susan Faber says:

      Anyone with an ounce of sense will leave this environmental war zone, taking their taxes with them. A few jobs will not compensate for this loss, since these “jobs” are temporary and nobody wants to live near a mine. There are more honorable ways of making a living.

    • This is strictly a utilitarian way of thinking. You are just proof like many others in our nations history who feel that they can exploit a resource and that it will have no ill effects on our land and the people around it. Fracking has terrible effects on the landscape. Northwest wisconsin has always been known for its beauty and outdoor recreation. Now when people come to vistit places like Barron County all they are going to see is open pit mines everywhere. Yes it is creating jobs… For now.In another 30 or 40 years when all the sand has been removed along with all of our forests, then what will we have. Tourism is one of Barron counties top incomes in its economy. Last i checked open pit mines and more polluted watersheds is not a top spot for tourism.

    • At what and whos expense?

  19. Angi:
    You have started your research by coming onto this site. Good. Knowledge is Power. Now start to attend those county and township and municipal meetings. and speak up. Question what is happening; remind these boards that their first and foremost duty is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. Let that one phrase be your mantra. Remind them that there are people who are being directly affected in a negative way….your children. Try and get neighbors together and get to these meetings in mass.. One person can make a difference but 5, 10 or more can make a huge difference. Unless individals start to attend and write letters to local papers telling of theirr concerns all will be lost. Our land is worth fighting for; the health of our children is worth fighting for; the safety on the roads is worth fighting for. We can get up off the couch and get out of our comfort zone; stop letting ‘others’ fight for us and start becoming involved. ‘Others’ get awfully tired of doing this alone; “Others” get really tired of the unpleasant demeanor and attitudes of greedy people who think nothing of their neighbors and only of themselves. ‘Others’ are just not always going to be available to fight the good fight for the environment and families who do nothing to address this issue. If individuals don’t start speaking up and attending meeting and taking a stand and stop being afraid of what their friends and neighbors think of them then every person who does nothing will get what they deserve… nothing.
    Thanks, Angi for your concerns and the courage to ask for help.

  20. My daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren live in Almena,WI where they are just beginning a sand fracing operation. At this point they are just putting in and paving the road that goes pretty much to my daughters back yard. I’m concerned about the health risks this will put on my loved ones. My grandkids love to play outside, @ what point do I tell them they can no longer do so. I’m new to all of this so I have much research to do, but in the mean time I am very afraid. I do know that even if they wanted to move, no one in their right mind would buy their property @ this point. Any valid suggestions or advice is welcome.

  21. Carol K Thompson says:

    Yes, they are all good men and women doing the work for mining, however, we must take an overview of the long picture for the land, the environment, our water and our grandchildren’s children. Do we want the Wisconsin and Minnesota hills to be bereft of clean water from mine pit runoff, or no more birds and wildlife where the Oak Savannah is cut down for mining. How will our water and forest repair themselves in the next generations? Will we be left with deserts, dry air, and little clear water? What of the scenic visitas and beauty of the plains and hills? Do not we, each of us, have for one another a love of various cultures, farming, Amish ways and their handicrafts, and the tourism it brings? What will be left for future generations? An empty land abandoned open pit mines where springs, rivers, Oak Trees and farms once existed?
    I propose a moratorium on all mining and land acquisition and road zoning and building, until all the facts and environmental, cultural and scientific studies are in where the public is equally made aware of the consequences where they have a voice.

  22. Anonymous:
    I empathize with your point. I hate to see people take side in a manner that becomes abusive to anyone. The workers who have taken jobs with these companies should not be abused nor made the scapegoat for supporting their families. I know that the people that I work with have not been critical of these workers. This is a huge issue with many people and people who are passionate will take sides. This can be done in a sane and civil manner with respect that is due to one human to another. Unfortunately, some must resort to name calling and personal attacks to be able to get their point across to another who has a differing point of view. I am very against the sand mines because of what they are doing to our environment. I am against sand companies who do not protect their workers from harm. I am against sand companies who don’t tell the whole story to citizens in their presentations to the public.I am against public boards who seem to be only for business and not the individual whom they have sworn to protect and serve. Their duty is to protect the health and welfare of every individual, not just those who are against mining…..but for everyone!
    i am not against, nor would I abuse, anyone who is providing for themselves or their families providing they are hard, honest workers who obey the laws. I would hope that there are more people who have the feelings that my friends and I have than would abuse and name call anyone. It appears to me that the abuse comes from people who are for mining. At least this is where it comes from when name calling, being abusive and personally attacking me whether in a newspaper blog or in person.. Having had the brunt of this uncontrolled evil behavior i must empathize with anyone in this position. I have thought that I have taken care to not resort to such tactics in the past but will be more aware of what I say and how I say it to others in the future. What a shame that we can’t find solutions to problems as large as this problem in working together.and being more tolerant of others views.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I personally am getting tired of the people taking sides in these matters. These workers are just men and women trying to provide for their families in difficult economic times and they are the ones taking all of the abuse from citizens that are angry with the company. Times are hard, and if you didnt have a job right now and one of these companies were hiring, you cannot tell me you wouldnt take a job to keep your family afloat…

    • Anonymous: From Wisconsin says:

      Sometimes, you have to look at the big picture. If something looks like Honey, you can’t assume that it is. The people so desperate for work, that they have to work for these Mining Companies, are regrettably going to be the first ones who WILL die even if they do use their respirator’s properly. I’ve worked in a Foundry where Silicon sand is used and it’s a killer. Not right away but if you start blowing blood out your nose it’s already too late.
      I have silicosis and I’m dying, Thank god I can’t give it to my children. From Wisconsin !!

  24. Anonymous says:

    How are going to be able to stop this?Any ideas?

    • coventree says:

      Make your voice heard by attending all the government meeting that you have time for. Make time. Attend at the local level ,, municipalities,county. Join an organization such as Save the Hills Alliance. There are more and more organizations all over the counties and state that need you.. There will be one by you. Your input and comments and strengths are invaluable to these new organizations. They will welcome you and what you can bring to the table. There is strength in numbers and no one need to be the one voice crying in the wilderness any more. Continue to read this website for it’s valuable information. There is a wealth of information here. If you need information ask for my email from the webmaster. He will provide it.
      Thanks for thinking of becoming involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trempealeau county public hearing Wednesday, June 13th at 9:10 AM in the County Board Room of the court house. Alan and Debra Erickson, W22144 Erickson Rd. Strum, WI Township of Hale along with their neighbors Tom and Rhonda Segerstrom W22924 Erickson Rd. Township of Hale iall n Trempealeau county are entertaining sand mining, They have borh test drilled and now Debra and Alan Erickson as applying for rezoning of land from Residential-8 to Exclusive Agricultural-2 on 206.29 acres which opens them up for the next step of attaining a conditional land use permit to rip our lands apart,. Everyone is encouraged to attend and show your support to STOP the greed and save our fine state.

      • margaret lorayne says:

        thanks for tuning in to the frac sand mess. Maiden Rock Citizens Concerned have spent at least 2 years fighting Wisconsin Industrial Sand, to no avail. They have expanded with 3-3 story buildings and a huge new leg on the tracks just outside of MR. We presented a well attended and well prepared argument against the expansion of the mine, to no avail, to the Pierce County Board.

    • big jude says:

      The residue or “flowback” water that comes from fracking contains many chemicals such as barium and hydrocarbons. “Osorb” is a product that removes these chemicals from the water but what happens to these extracted chemicals? This is my guess. The barium and other chemicals taken from the mines are not necessarily being buried under ground. I say this because the chemicals found in what are called “chemtrails” or what some people still call jet contrails are the same. You may have noticed the long, persistent contrails that criss cross the skies in the last few years. I think the mining companies are evading the EPA and dumping the chemicals in the upper atmosphere. What is falling from the skies is the same chemical used in rat poison, barium.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a Frac Sand Commitee meeting tomorrow evening (05/24/12) at the Trempealeau County courthouse in Whitehall @ 6pm. BE THERE!! Enter at the rear of the building bear Sheriff’s Dept. Parking.

  25. Ishmael says:

    “He wasn’t man enough to come to my door and tell me of his sinister plans that will force me off of my farm and away from my family’s homestead. Has anyone ever stopped one of these?”

    He wasn’t “man” enough? Did you not attend any of the town meetings? Sinister plan? Sounds like a cartoon that you have playing in your head. Spider man to the rescue. Why would a wash plant run you off your farm? You’ve demonstrated a clear inability to reason and bought into the mantra of the lunatic fringe. I live right down the road from a wash plant, on the same road and not very far away. There is another wash plant with another company and landowner in another direction not too far away. No, I do not myself own any sand land. Yes, I have lived here essentially all of my life. I can tell you with all honesty that these two wash plants have not impacted my life in any way at all. I don’t farm, but these wash plants are surrounded by farm land. Not one thing has changed for those farmers either, including the one that irrigates.

    Now instead of attempting to play on emotions and the shortcomings of some of the others on this forum please tell us just how and why this simple wash plant is going to “run you off your farm”? I can hardly wait….

  26. Susan Faber says:

    Since I just received my “letter” informing me that my neighbor of seventeen years is opening his arms to a sand washing operation less than a mile from my house. He wasn’t man enough to come to my door and tell me of his sinister plans that will force me off of my farm and away from my family’s homestead. Has anyone ever stopped one of these?

  27. Elaine Jennison says:

    I wish money was spent on what is needed to remove material the out using mines. I have bacteria colonized in my lung, so don’t want your people have this happen to them.

  28. coventree says:

    I just received information from a friend from the Town of Sumner concerning the Barron County Board to “ Removing of County Owned Land from County Forest.” Dated 3-30-2012 for the purpose of allowing frac sand mining. This resolution was presented on the agenda of the Barron County Board on that same date. Barron County Resolution no. 2012. Resolution to Designate Process for Use of County Forest Lands for Frac Sand Mining. This is absolutely outrageous. This is land that has been put aside for all citizens of Barron County to enjoy. Taxes from the citizens help with the upkeep of this land. It produces income from the harvesting of timber. The belief that the mining would bring in substantial monies from the sale of this sand has been studied before. I believe that the board has been down this road in the past and the studies of the monies that the companies would bring to the county is spread out over a period of 30 years. The Barron County Board has the audacity to suggest that this land, belonging to the citizens of the county, be taken away, slashed open with the contents removed, taking away the habitat for flora and fauna, use chemicals in the mining process that may harm the environment, adding heavy truck traffic to roads where there has been little traffic, etc, etc, You have heard it all before if you have been listening. EXCEPT that this extreme selfishness on the part of those board member who are willing to do this has never been done to anyone in the state of Wisconsin. Where does this stop? It is difficult to believe that public officials elected by the people are so uncaring about those same people and the environment that they represent. The destruction of public lands for a few short term jobs with many more unanswerable questions than those that have definitive answers is unbelievable. It is can be understood, if not agreed upon, if a land owner is willing to sell out to sand companies and some land owners who will be surrounded by mining have not much else they can do. Quite a different matter for public officials to take the land away from the people who own it and do whatever these few officials wish. There are still land owners out there that will not sell their land for any amount of money because of the belief in the stewardship of the land and the harm that selling would do to their neighbors welfare. They realize that, yes, one should be able to do what they want with their land until that want interferes with the rights of their neighbors. The mining companies would like you to believe that this is not the case; that everyone can be bought. How very wrong to categorize the character of the few selfish and greedy men upon all good people who love their neighbors as themselves. I would believe that the supervisors of the Barron County Board and all those involved with this debacle would stand back and wait for another law suit from the good people of Barron County.
    Heather Andersen
    Town of Auburn/Chippewa County.

    • Are they breaking the county forest law?
      County forest comprehensive land use plan 2005-2015
      To administer the County Forest program consistent mission statement and the purpose and direction of the County Forest Law considering recommendations of interested citizens and groups. The purpose of the County Forest Law being:
      “ … to provide the basis for a permanent program of county forests and to enable and encourage the planned development and management of the county forests
      for optimum production of forest products together with recreational opportunities,
      wildlife, watershed protection and stabilization of stream flow, giving full
      recognition to the concept of multiple use to assure maximum public benefits; to
      protect the public rights, interests and investments in such lands; and to
      compensate the counties for the public uses, benefits and privileges these lands
      provide; all in a manner which will provide a reasonable revenue to the towns in
      which such lands lie.” (Sec. 28.11, Wis. Stats.)
      Whats up with the forest administrater?

    • Carol Siepka says:

      Heather, thank you for this article. Our family farm has been around for about 115 years and is by Canton where they are located on nearly the highest peak in the valley and a mile from the Blue Hills. The farm is beautiful and well cared for. As with many other land owners, it would be a shame for the countryside to be torn up by the frackers. Though fracking companies have to put the land back to the same condition it was in before fracking, I don’t believe that is so because there are mature trees that wouldn’t be replanted, just replaced with much smaller trees.

      So far my parent’s neighbors are against frack sanding. Many have been to town meetings, and my father is very vocal about being against it. My parents know of two sisters, one who is against fracking and the other who is trying to sell about 400 acres (they are fighting with each other).

      Many people are so frustrated by the deviant county officials, fracking companies, and their lawyers saying there are absolutely no health hazards, when in fact, there is. A study at the U of M by Hillary Carpenter proves there are health hazards from fracking. There are many other studies substantiating the claims. Furthermore, there is no proof that fracking is not a health hazard.

      The residents of Sumner Township need to keep coming to meetings and stop this dangerous business.

  29. Kelee Katillac says:

    Is there frac mining near Clintonville WI?

    • There is no frac sand mining near clintonville. There is a company trying to get a conditional use permit to mine silica sand which will be used by foundrys like the Waupaca Foundry. Don’t get the process of mining the sand confused with the process of extracting the natural gas from the ground that uses frac sand and chemicals. The process of mining the sand uses no chemicals and only water to clean the sand. There are no natural gas deposits in the state of Wisconsin.

      • Do keep in mind, though, that mining sand, which is what this site is about, IS still a dangerous process and that the washing of said sand CAN use chemicals and DOES raise dust. Beyond that, I have been having a hard time getting anyone to tell what, if any difference, we can expect between fracking sand and foundry sand. The mining company, of course, tells me they are VERY different. Geologists I’ve talked to generally beg to differ. . .

  30. May god, what is happening to my state? Prairie du Chein? Sand mining? Thank you for informing me, I had no idea. I’ll post, tweet and share widely.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone looked in to the process of soil salinization from sand mining? I am trying to think of ways to stop this lunacy. I guess endangered species don’t apply to sand mining Karner Blues can’t fight for themselves. Nor can our song birds or trees. We are on a fast track to destroy out beautiful wisconsin. Guess sand mines can claim emminent domain over the federal government. I cry when I see what has happened to our state

  32. With Scott Walker in office it will pass as ok in Wisconsin. After all he thinks it’s ok to fill in wetlands to build industrys. This is all wrong, our state is a beautiful one with the hills and valleys. Don’t destroy what so many people love. Take a ride along the Mississippi River and see how pretty it is and maybe you will think twice about this being good for our state.

  33. Nice Blog i found for Mining Services.. Keep Posting!

    Mining Investment

  34. As a man thinketh..... says:

    My sister lives in a 100+ year farm house on 30 acres on the Dunn/St. Croix border. Last summer without warning the rural farm road was widened. She says they no longer set their alarms as the trucks start rolling at quarter to 5a. Her home is shaken at the foundation when they blast…….she says like small earthquakes. There’s a lot of dust and says she has blown ‘bloody gobs’, for lack of a more polite term, out of her nose. I don’t know if there’s a polite way to describe the potential damage/danger to those I love as well as a beautiful agricultural area. They’re at the point of wondering if they just need to let their beloved farm go into foreclosure. What a horrible scenario.

  35. My neighborhood has been invaded by Pattison Sand with a 24×7 loading operation located in an area zoned by the city of Prairie du Chien as riverfront or open spaces use only. Pattison is able to circumvent the city zoning laws by utilizing the Wisconsin Southern Railroads position of railroads are exempt from being governed by municipal zoning laws.

    Pattison claims to be a good corporate neighbor but has ignored petitions by residence to locate further north on the railroad in an area zoned as industrial. The reason is they are able to load at the corner of Rice Street and Main Street as It’s free to them where in the industrial zone they have to pay a fee of $3.00 per ton to load.

    This puts Pattison in a position of taking total advantage of the city along with the immediate neighbors to reduce their operating costs on the backs of the city and its citizens.

    We need your help, suggestions, advice and or anything you can offer us to remove this hazard to this elderly neighborhood.

    Please help.

    • We are a consumer of Pattison frac sand. I must admit they helped save our business by being available when no one else was.
      Therefore, I fail to see the correlation of reducing thier overhead by riding the backs of the city and neighbors when thier operation supplies revenue to the community via taxes and by supplying employment to the local area.

      • You must not be too proud of them since you are posting anonymously, must be a paid troll.

      • Cathy Jensen says:

        paid Troll is correct – one can only assume that you have no holds, interest or care in the town, the people and the environment and are in on the money making end for frac mining. No amount of taxes will take care of the damage that Pattison and others associated wtih frac mining are doing to the communities and lives of the people of Wisconsin. More than shame on you – hope you choke and rot from the dust they leave behind. Cathy

      • Carol Siepka says:

        Anonymous aka Paid Troll, though tax revenue and local employment are important, it is only short term. However, the health hazards from facking should be of a greater concern than the short term benefits. Also, the environmental concerns include the destruction of property, though required to be reclaimed but will still not be the same (what about reclaiming the hills they cut down?), the chemical issues mentioned in another post, and other issues.

        Did you know that some fracking companies are allowed dump trucks to travel down main streets of towns and disturbing the residents? How about trucks traveling many hours in a day? In one town a car dealership had to dust the sand off its vehicles every day? If they have to hire someone to dust them off, do you also call this bringing real employment to the area? (So far the fracking company isn’t paying for the dusting.)

        Check out this photo of mining frack sand. See the following website.

        Do you want this in your back yard. Do you think those mature trees in the photo will be replaced with the same size trees? What about the beautiful hill that used to be there. Will that be put back? Do you want to listen to the machinery all day and see the “fog” of dust. How about breathing it and getting it in your eyes?

        I hope you and others who are all for fracking read and reread this article and others’ concerns you are commenting on. I also hope you try to understand the warnings about the hazards of fracking, the environmental damage it causes, and the just plain nuisance it causes people, and how it affects you and others.

        Tell the rest of us how you would feel about these issues if you were to experience them every day? Maybe you will. I think you would then agree that the hazards, damage, and nuiscance it causes are not definately not worth it.

  36. check out what’s going on in Prairie du chien, WI…across the river from Pattison Sand company of Iowa….every night loading rail cars full of sand…apparently they are having issues across the river (Mississippi) in Iowa so now they are loading there….any comments?

  37. Frac sand mining plays a very important role in the hydraulic fracturing process for natural gas extraction. The sand is used to prop open fractures created in the process so that natural gas can flow into the well bore casing for recovery on the surface.

    Frac sand mining also poses significant hazards and problems than must not be overlooked or downplayed. First, the process uses extremely high volumes of water that become tainted with mine tailings that can and will adversely affect plants, fish, birds and animals exposed to the tainted water that is usually dumped into rivers, creeks and streams to make its way into lakes and breeding grounds for wildlife.

    Second, frac sand is a fine, crystalline silica sand that can and will penetrate skin, and when inhaled, lodge in the tissue of lungs. It is a known cause of lung cancer and incurable silicosis, both of which can and do lead to death. Dust from a frac sand mining operation can be carried 20 miles or more by the winds, and even further as it blows from trucks and railcars in shipment across numerous states from mine to final destination.

    Third, frac sand mining is akin to copper strip mining in that it leaves the mining area devoid of any soil or vegetation resembling something in Arizona where the earth is scraped and dug leaving behind an unsightly blight that devalues property all around it.

    The issue of frac sand mining is one of the most dangerous and hazardous components of the hydraulic fracturing process. People living in or near areas where a frac sand mining operation is taking place should be aware of the risks to health and safety that it poses, as well as the threats it presents to the natural environment. They should also be prepared for a severe drop in valuation on their homes and property.

    For more information on the frac sand mining process please visit

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views that predominate here. Long rants proclaiming the infallibility of your own views or favorite ideology will not be posted, neither will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed, nor will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flame-baiting and name calling. Please indicate precisely what you are blogging about. I just got a post from ? E-Mail ? which said: "Is this going to be OUR furture??. I have no idea what they were referring to and no way to contact them. This is why we prefer comments that are signed by actual persons who leave their E-Mail address (it won't be published) so they can be contacted if questions arise.

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