"MADISON, Wis. — A new Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources draft report wrongly concludes that sand mining operations don't produce fine dust particles and shouldn't impact human health, an environmental advocacy group contends.
The DNR released a potential update to its 2012 sand mining analysis for public comment this past week. The analysis tracks the latest scientific and socioeconomic information about sand mining in Wisconsin. The agency uses the analysis to inform policy discussions and decisions.
Sand mining has taken off in western Wisconsin since 2008, as fracking, a process to free petroleum and natural gas by cracking rock with injections of water, sand and chemicals, has taken hold. The region has high-quality silica sand that works well in the process; according to the report, 92 sand mines are currently active in the area. The boom has generated fears of air and water pollution."