Trempealeau County Considers Frac Sand Mine Moratorium

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Trempealeau County is considering a temporary ban on new frac sand operations, even though they’ve already permitted more than any other county.

There are already 26 frac sand mines and processing centers permitted in Trempealeau County. Of those, 11 are operational with 15 more in development.

But the resolution before the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors tonight calls for a six-to-12-month moratorium, which would block any new frac sand operations from starting up. The resolution is being pushed by officials who are concerned about air and water pollution that could affect people’s health.

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Moratoriums have been used by many other local governments to temporarily halt the expansion of the frac sand industry until a study of possible health and environmental impacts can be completed. Most moratoriums are enacted soon after one or a small handful of frac sand mines open up in an area, but Trempeleau County’s action is late in the game: It already has more permitted sand operations than any other county in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

According to the county’s Land Conservation Department there is one frac sand mining company with a permit is under consideration that may have to wait if the resolution passes. None of the other 26 operations will be impacted in any way.

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