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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Eau Claire County, Wis., is re-evaluating its guidelines for groundwater, according to a report on WQOW TV. The county’s Groundwater Advisory Committee is focusing on the demand for water and the impact of that demand, in light of local frac sand production which uses high-capacity wells that handle anywhere from a few thousand gallons to a several million per year. The last manual was written in 1995 and with new data, the committee hopes to be able to identify groundwater concerns and how to best address them.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • According to Wisconsin Public Radio, tribal members of the Ho-Chunk nation are calling for native and non-native people to band together to stop frac sand mining. About 30 people gathered in Black River Falls, Wis., to hear speakers talking about how frac sand mining can lead to environmental damage and possible health problems. The meeting was organized by Andi Cloud, who founded Migizi Advocates for Turtle Island. She says to successfully fight the powerful and wealthy frac sand mining industry, people of all stripes need to band together.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • According to the Winona Daily News, Independence, Minn., Common Council members gave the green light to annex a portion of the city’s land after previously denying the request. The council rejected the estimated 250-acre annexation proposed by Hi-Crush Proppants LLC during a meeting Oct. 22, but brought the petition back for a special session to vote again. The annexation was approved in a 5-1 vote. The Independence annexation is one part of a $100-million project that would annex land from the town of Lincoln, Minn., to establish a frac sand mine to be located in both the cities of Independence and Whitehall, Minn. According to Hi-Crush officials, the mine’s wet plant would be connected to the dry plant via conveyor system, and there would be a potential for as many as 300 rail cars, depending upon their size.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • According to The Cap Times, five Republican lawmakers from western Wisconsin, the heart of the state's frac sand mining boom, are expressing concerns over a Republican bill that would strip local government control to regulate the industry. In a letter to the authors of Senate Bill 349, the lawmakers – Reps. Dean Knudson of Hudson, Thomas Larson of Colfax, Mary Williams of Medford, Kathleen Bernier of Chippewa Falls and Howard Marklein of Spring Green – said while the state and the nation have “benefited greatly from the mines,” and the development of the industry has been “largely positive,” local communities expect and deserve to have a voice in regulating the mines.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Hi-Crush Partners LP announced that Hi-Crush Operating LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hi-Crush, has reached an amicable settlement with Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations Inc., or Baker Hughes, in previously disclosed litigation between the parties and have filed with the State District Court of Harris County, Texas, a Joint Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice with respect to all claims and counterclaims asserted in the lawsuit. In connection with the settlement, Hi-Crush and Baker Hughes have entered into a six-year supply agreement for the sale of Northern White frac sand by Hi-Crush to Baker Hughes. James Whipkey, co-chief executive officer of Hi-Crush, said, “We are very pleased to have amicably resolved this matter with Baker Hughes and to strengthen our relationship with them by entering into a six-year supply agreement. We consider Baker Hughes a valuable partner as we continue to expand our market presence.”
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