Vinehout pushes bills on more openness in frac sand mining - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Vinehout pushes bills on more openness in frac sand mining

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Eau Claire, Wisconsin (WQOW) - Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) is introducing legislation that calls for more transparency when it comes to frac sand mining.

It would require someone who's selling property to disclose whether they're aware of a contract or an option that allows frac sand mining on a neighboring property.

Another piece would increase public notice before a vote on sand mining applications. Part of the legislation is similar to what she offered last year.  Those bills were sent to committee but they died when the session ended.

Vinehout's proposal will be the focus of a special meeting this week.

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WHITEHALL, Wisconsin (WQOW) -  Sand Products Wisconsin wants to mine and process sand on a 700 acre site south of Whitehall in Trempealeau County.

The company hopes to remove almost 13 million tons over the next two decades and says the site will create 30 to 45 jobs.

The county allows companies to speed up the review process if they pay double, which sand products did.

It paid more than $25-thousand in fees to have a conditional use permit reviewed within 30 days instead of the average review time of 60.

A public hearing will be held before the environment and land use committee on Thursday (03/28) morning at 9 a.m.

The hearing has been moved to the Whitehall City Center, or the old high school in Whitehall.

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In other news related to the frac sand process, while we know western Wisconsin's sand is used for hydraulic fracturing, but there are other ingredients kept under wraps. And now a ruling from a Wyoming judge will keep it that way.

Environmental groups want to know what chemicals companies are putting underground. They asked a court to have those ingredients disclosed. 

On Monday, a judge has ruled that Wyoming's oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the list as protected trade secrets. 

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