Rock Products

MAR 2013

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Community at Odds as Officials are Granted Mining Permits In Whitehall, Wis., a divisive public hearing over frac sand ended in approvals for two new mining projects, despite cit��� izen complaints that some elected officials were dealing themselves into the frac sand business at the expense of their neighbors. ternoon testimony at a packed hearing in the county courthouse, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Several morning speakers made bitter comments about alleged pro���mining leanings of some county and township officials. One of the mining sites approved is on land owned by Ivan Pronschinske, who serves on the Board of Supervisors in Ar��� cadia Township, near Whitehall. The other venture ap��� proved is tied to Robert Tenneson, the longtime chairman of nearby Preston Township. ���This is insanity,��� said Susan Faber, a mining opponent who said a few people are getting rich off mines that devalue the property of others. Tom Bice, chairman of the Trempealeau County Land Use and Environment Committee, put a two���minute limit on af��� The committee has reportedly issued more frac sand per��� mits than any other county in Minnesota or Wisconsin, amid a sand���mining boom driven by the national surge in fracking for oil and natural gas. New Amendments Target Frac Sand Moratorium The Winona, Wis., City Council approved a number of changes to the way it regulates the frac sand industry as it prepares to stay ahead of a one���year moratorium set to ex��� pire in March, according to the Winona Daily News. Following a lengthy public hearing, the council approved all four primary amendments, which relate to the city���s existing mining ordinance, the moisture level of frac sand trucked through and processed in the city, portions of the existing permitting process for mining, and studying the traffic im��� pact of trucks hauling the sand. Some of the changes were technical, while others at��� tempted to address more broadly how to regulate the in��� dustry that���s swept through the region and created significant controversy. One primary change will require that all frac sand must have a minimum moisture content of 2.5 percent. That was changed from an earlier recommendation of 1.5 percent. Set hours of operation between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The ordinance previously allowed operation until 10 p.m. n Requires that mine operators monitor groundwater at least twice a year. n Allows site blasting and crushing only at the explicit approval of the Board of Adjustment. n Setting detailed plans for reclamation once the mine is closed. n The council also upheld a Board of Adjustment decision to allow as many as double the number of frac sand barges that can be loaded by CD Corp. each month at the Winona port. The Board of Adjustment late last year approved a plan to let CD Corp. process up to 48 barges each month, a decision that a local group, Citizens Against Sand Mining, appealed to the council. The council agreed that the decision was appro��� priate, but did decide to up the minimum moisture content on sand moving through the port to 2.5 percent, up from 1.5 percent. Another will require all mining���related businesses with more than 200 proposed truck trips daily to conduct a traffic impact study. The city plans to work out road���use agree��� ments with companies primarily on a case���by���case basis, but could ask companies to pay for road upgrades or repairs. Other changes include: All structures that hold processing equipment and sand piles must be located a minimum of 200 ft. from a residential district. n Requiring that no part of a mining operation be located within 2,000 ft. of a residential district, instead of just restricting the distance of powered equipment. n 16 ROCKproducts ��� MARCH 2013 www.rockproducts.com

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