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This Week’s Market Buzz


  • Frac sand mining in Minnesota now has its own website. Six state agencies created a portal to their frac sand activities and rule-making around the industry. Officials said the site is geared toward easy navigation of the regulatory landscape. In particular, it will help people interested in what the state is doing to develop new rules for managing and permitting silica sand projects. The website, silicasand.mn.gov, provides links to each of the state agencies involved with making the new rules or managing activities involved with the mining, transportation and processing of silica sand. They include the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Pollution Control Agency (PCA), Department of Health, Department of Transportation and Department of Agriculture.
  • A group of six to eight protesters is trying to prevent the opening of a frac sand mine at Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park. The LaSalle County Board already has given Mississippi Sand all the permits it needs to get started, and Ottawa City Council on Aug. 6 approved the first reading of an ordinance to grant a permit for the mined product to be shipped from the ADM barge terminal west of the city along Route 71 and the Illinois River. City officials told the protesters there was nothing they could do, and that if they didn't approve the sand-shipping request, the sand trucks would pass through Ottawa to an east-side terminal.
  • The Crawford Stewardship Project will receive $5,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to help monitor the water quality around the Boscobel and Bridgeport frac sand mines. “Citizen-Based Monitoring of Water Quality Near Silica Frac Sand Mines” was among 21 projects selected for assistance by the DNR’s 2013-14 Citizen-based Monitoring Partnership Program. “We’re very pleased with the interest, variety and quality of projects proposed,” said Owen Boyle, who coordinates the Citizen-based Monitoring Program for the DNR. “Those receiving awards will contribute valuable information about Wisconsin’s natural resources, support many DNR initiatives, and will help stretch state dollars further.”