Frac Sand Mining


Reclamation Resources.  From Mark Wise, Eau Claire, WI. Shared with his permission so other counties, towns, and citizens can view a potential problem and alert appropriate governmental officials in their area to study their documents so tax payers are not liable for reclamation responsibilities. This email from Mark Wise explains the documents.
Eau Claire County – Establishment of a $2.4 million Non Metallic Mining(Frac Sand) Reclamation Fund
Sample Letter of Credit for County Reclamation Protection

Frac Sand Geology Resources from Mike Parsen, Hydrogeologist, Wis. Geological and Natural History Survey, Univ. of Wis. – Extension  Letter from Mike Parsen regarding resources listed below.

Bedrock stratigraphic units in Wisconsin
This page-size publication includes the names of the rock groups/formations  (i.e., Ancell Group, St. Peter Formation, Prairie du Chien Group, Trempealeau Group, Jordan Formation). These same geologic names are referred to in the attached letter and many of the other documents referenced below.

Bedrock geology of Wisconsin
This 1:1,000,000 scale geologic map, depicted here as a page-size map, is the basis for many of the statewide maps we’ve produced showing the extent of frac sand. The units labeled St. Peter Formation (Osp), which is part of the Ancell Group, and Cambrian (C), which includes the Jordan Formation, are the key sandstone units for producing industrial sand in Wisconsin. In the two publications below, the Osp and C units were selected and shown together as potential frac sand units. The same information is shown on the figures included with the attached letter.

Frac Sand Fact Sheet
This page-size publication, updated in early 2014, includes information about industrial sand mining for frac sand and the statewide extent of sandstone formations across Wisconsin.

Industrial sand potential in Wisconsin
This is a more detailed version of the map on the frac sand fact sheet. It combines information about the location of sandstone deposits, shown on both the Bedrock geology map and frac sand fact sheet, with information about depth to bedrock.

“OSHA Proposes New Silica Exposure Standards” (International Operating Engineer, Fall 2013)

On August 23, Dr. David Michaels, administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), announced a new proposed federal rule – supported by IUOE and other unions – to cut down worker exposure to silica.
…The federal government’s current silica exposure standard is based on
50-plus-year-old data, outdated testing methods and was instituted in 1971, Michaels said.
… Respirable crystalline silica – very small particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand you might encounter on beaches and playgrounds – puts workers at risk for silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.
(click issue link above to read full article)

The Economic Impact of Recreational Trout Angling
in the Driftless Area – Trout Unlimited Economic Report. (Estimated 1.1 Billion spent or indirect benefit in the entire Driftless area that covers 4 states.) Trout Unlimited Econonmic Study – Summary (8 pages)  Trout Unlimited Economic Study – Complete Report (43 pages)

Feedback and Questions on Dunn County’s “Non-Metallic Mining and Processing in Dunn County: Environmental Impacts and Regulatory Analysis With Recommendations to Improve Industry Oversight” by Pilar Gerasimo, Resident, Town of Lucas, Dunn County. In-depth commentary multiple subjects, including Cumulative Impacts, DNR Regulations, Highway/Traffic, Health, Land Conservation/Reclamation, Planning, Zoning, Environmental Impacts, and more.

Potential Impacts of Frac Sand Transport and Mining on Tourism and Property Values in Lake Pepin Communities – Dominic Parker and Daniel Phaneuf, UW-Madison Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin: Focus on Groundwater – Madeline Gotkowitz and Mike Parsen, UW Extension Wis. Geological and Natural History Survey. Presentation to Richland County Zoning Advisory Committee 12/16/13.

Richland County Trout Streams – map

Potential Public Health Risks of Silica Sand Mining and Processing – Slide presentation by Wayne L. Feyereisn, MD, FACP

Dangers Unseen: Blasting Ultra-Fine Particles and Human Health  – Video forum/panel sponsored by the Penokee Hills Project

The Economic Benefits and Costs of Frac-Sand Mining in West Central Wisconsin A report prepared for Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Towns Association, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. This Study provides a two-page Executive Summary following the title page on what should be considered when frac sand mining operations are proposed for a local community as to the benefits and costs. A two-page list of questions for local officials to ask before approving an expansion of frac sand operations is also provided.

Richland County Zoning


On May 20, 2014, the Richland County Board passed the revised zoning ordinance regarding industrial sand mining. This represents eight months of work by the Zoning and Land Information Committee, the Frac Sand Advisory Committee, and citizens like you. The ordinance builds on best practices from counties and towns experiencing industrial  sand mining in Wisconsin.


The Richland County Moratorium on permitting of frac sand mines expired June 31, 2014. In September 2013 the Richland County Zoning and Land Information Committee created a subcommittee, the Frac Sand Mining Advisory Committee, to learn more about this new industrial frac sand mining industry and what impact it would have on our way of life in Richland County. On Monday March 3, 2014, the Advisory Committee submitted its recommended revisions to the county zoning ordinance to the Zoning and Land Use Committee, specifically addressing industrial frac sand mining.

Frac Sand Mining Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee concluded its work with the February meeting. The following summaries are available:

FSAC Meeting Reference Executive Summary: 10/25/13-1/20/14

FSAC Meeting Reference Summary: 10/25/13-1/20/14

FSAC Meeting Reference Appendices (5mb)

FSAC Summary: Overview Presentation

Advisory Committee Meeting Information and Materials
Also see: Richland County Zoning & Transportation Department

Date Agenda, Highlights, Minutes Materials
2/10/14 Wording for Zoning Ordinance
1/20/14 Economic Development
12/16/13 Groundwater
11/18/13 Air Quality
Air Quality Presentation, Thiboldeaux
10/25/13 Geology, Senate Bill 349