- According to the Winona Daily News, a permit for a proposed sand mining and wash-plant operation in the Town of Waumandee, Wis., was denied 3-0 by the Buffalo County Zoning Board of Adjustment. More than 50 people testified at a second public hearing on the project, most of them opposed to granting a conditional-use permit to mine frac sand on 88 acres of land in the vicinity of Schoepps Valley and Oak Valley. Badger Bluff Sands had sought a 10-year permit to mine sand and a 20-year permit to operate a sand washing plant, but the county’s three-member board of adjustment had doubts about several pieces of the proposed three-phase project and agreed to deny a permit on grounds of protecting public health, safety and welfare.
- According to Wyoming Public Media’s energy and natural resources reporter Stephanie Joyce, if frac sand isn’t properly managed, it can become a silicosis hazard. She cited a 2012 study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health that found that at more than half of sampled well-sites, exposure levels were above mandated workplace safety standards. Joyce said during a roundtable discussion that at some well-sites, exposure levels were 10 times higher. Fracking in the state is under increased scrutiny after the Wyoming Supreme Court found a lower court had ruled in error regarding disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
- The decision on whether or not to ban frac sand mining in Houston County, Wis., has been put off until at least next fall. County commissioners on April 8 held a conference call with land-use attorney Jay Squires, according to the Houston County News. First, the board held an hour-long closed session to discuss a possible lawsuit over a contentious sand mining application, then opened the meeting while they discussed how to proceed on the larger issue of either writing a new industrial mining ordinance or initiating a ban. A study group charged with drafting a sample industrial mining ordinance has already begun to meet. Commissioners have also approved a concurrent effort to look into legal language needed for a ban.
Wisconsin Lawsuits Target Frac Sand MinesNearly a dozen western Wisconsin residents filed new lawsuits...
NIOSH Names Winners of Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations AwardsThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)...
Judge Won’t Reinstate Wisconsin Frac Sand PermitAccording to the Star Tribune, a judge refused to...