In surprising move, frac sand permit withdrawn amid opposition


A company aiming to open a frac sand operation in Trempealeau County, Wis., near the southeast Minnesota border, withdrew the proposal this week after a loud public outcry, the Winona Daily News reports.

About 100 people flocked to a three-hour public hearing Wednesday, most to voice opposition to the 80-acre frac sand processing facility, the newspaper reports. Residents fret about health issues and property values, but were perhaps most upset with a proposed trucking route, which would have gone through the heart of Blair, Wis., population 1,300.

The company wasn’t expecting such a boisterous outcry – so the company withdrew its proposal for now, Scott Beers, the co-owner of Global Sand Link LLC, told the Daily News.

That's never happened before, Trempealeau County Zoning and Environmental Specialist Jake Budish, said.

But it's hardly over, the Daily News reported. The company aims to change its route proposal and rework the whole plan to win the support of residents, and then reapply for permitting.

Frac sand mining, which has grown rapidly in southeast Minnesota, has been highly controversial.

The fine-grained silica sand that’s found in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin is used by the oil and natural gas industries in a process called hydraulic fracturing. The sand, along with water and chemicals, is blasted into rock to extract oil and gas that was not accessible through conventional drilling.

Critics are worried about environmental and health effects of the mining, but industry advocates downplay the concerns.

Next Up

Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan continues his dominant September

The right-hander struck out 11 batters in a victory over the Cubs.

Mounds view 9 - crime scene

Man who allegedly shot at police dies after being struck by squad vehicle

The unidentified individual fired shots at police following an alleged domestic disturbance, police say.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns reacts to Gersson Rosas firing: 'WTF'

The Timberwolves star was just as surprised as everyone else

Mounds View shooting incident 1 - county sheriff - crop

Deputy uses squad car to ram armed assault suspect, sheriff's office says

The man had fired multiple shots at officers, striking two of their vehicles, authorities said.

Daniel Carlson

Ex-Viking Daniel Carlson has become one of the NFL's best kickers

Carlson has been automatic since joining the Raiders.

Dustin Sundin crop

'Vulnerable' adult missing after leaving with family member's dog, phone

Authorities found footprints in a creek bed, but haven't been able to locate the man.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

Police 'use of force' incident reported in Mounds View

The Minnesota BCA is investigating, with more details expected soon.

vaccine, covid

The 8 Minnesota counties still below a 50% vaccination rate

Fewer than half of all vaccine-eligible individuals in these areas have received at least one shot.

Dave Simonett Trampled by Turtles

Trampled By Turtles singer responds to complaints about concert vax requirements

Some of TBT's recent appearances have required proof of vaccine/negative test.

BMTN - Target drive up bag booze

The 5 cent charge for carryout bags is coming back in Minneapolis

The ordinance was suspended at the start of the pandemic.


Minn. companies targeted in frac-sand spills

Wisconsin regulators are seeking civil penalties against Minnesota-based mine operators for two large sand spills, a first taste of the kind of environmental risks that accompany the gold rush of frac-sand mining underway in both states.