WHITEHALL, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Dozens of residents from Trempealeau County came to a public forum about a permit for a new frac sand mine there.
A company called Sand Products Wisconsin wants to mine sand on a 718 acre site south of Whitehall. Sand Products Corporation already operates one mine in the county.
It was a pretty even split between those in favor and those opposed to granting the permit.
Andy Nehring spoke in opposition of a mining permit for Sand products Corporations.
"We have listened to our neighbors and listened to the sand company, we do believe they're very good people, but that the sand mine does provide issues with the water we drink, the air we will breathe, the noise that will be associated with washing of sand and the trucking of sand," Nehring said.
The president of the company, Chuck Canestraignt, provided details of the plans to residents before the County Environmental and Land Use committee took public comment for and against the permit.
"Coming in to this we're well studied in the industry and understand that air, noise and water issues are on everyone's mind," Canestraight said. "We will set up perimeter monitors to look for those particles that are most contested, which are the small micron silica particles."
Even still, Nehring has concerns.
"The mine has been very open with us with their intentions and how they'll reclaim the land, but we still have concern for our three young children at home," Nehring said.
But the mining company says the community has a lot to gain through the mining operation.
"The benefits are, it's a large capital investment that adds to the tax base, and generally these communities that are accepting these operations, it can make up a significant portion of their annual budgets," Canestraight said.
That plus the addition of between 30 and 45 jobs, still doesn't outweigh what Nehring says are potential health and quality of life issues.
"We do know that this provides jobs for many local individuals, and we understand that, but at the same time, we hope that there's a balance between those jobs and the families living so close to the mine."
Following more than three hours of public comments the committee took the matter up for debate.
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