WXPR's Community Journalists
Most Active Stories
Hearing Thursday in Madison
Wed October 23, 2013
Frac Sand Bill Could Change Local Non-Metal Mine Control
A state Senator says many people are said to be heading to Madison Thursday morning to give testimony on a bill that would limit local governments control over frac sand mining.
The bill was authored by State Senator Tom Tiffany and Assembly Represenative Joan Ballweg. The bill would limit the powers of local governments to regulate placement of non-metallic mines. State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, whose district includes some of the frac mines, said the issue relates to local control...
"....and for towns that are zoned and for cities and counties that had an ordinance related to water, quantity or quality, blasting, use of explosives or any type of agreement related to the roads. All of those types of ordinances, agreements would be invalidated..."
She says it's not only a local control issue, but environmental as well.
Senator Tom Tiffany didn't return a call by deadline, but he told the Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism that the state and counties have the authority to regulate this type of mining and local communities could become "mini-DNR's".
The bill was introduced earlier this week and the public hearing is set for Thursday morning.
Sand is a critical part of a growing oil industy in the Dakotas. Wisconsin's sand in mainly western and central Wisconsin is sought because of its quality.