Local Geologist Gives Sand Mining Presentation - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local Geologist Gives Sand Mining Presentation

Posted: Updated: April 9, 2013 05:40 PM

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- UW extension associate professor Karl Green spoke at a luncheon hosted by La Crosse's League of Women Voters Tuesday. 

Green discussed the basics of frac sand mining -- the process of mining sand that is then used in the process of hydraulic fracturing to unlock oil reserves locked in the bedrock below the earth's surface. Most of Wisconsin's sand is transported to North Dakota, where much of that "fracking," as it's known, takes place. 

Green said he has been giving presentations like Tuesday's for about a year and a half. He said he was inspired to begin speaking about sand mining because he saw it as an issue important to the La Crosse area. 

Green also said he thinks there is a lot of information floating around regarding sand mining, and not all of it is accurate. He said he hopes his presentations will help "give people the facts." 

Prior to joining UW extension Green worked as a geologist for a La Crosse civil engineering firm. 

He said he is not aware of any proposals to build a sand mine in La Crosse at the moment. 

But the web site WisconsinWatch.org claims a mining facility is being developed in Bangor. 

Green said up to 75 percent of La Crosse County's lands could be suitable for sand mining. But he added it's not known if the sand below all 75 percent of those lands is easily accessible. 

A number of cities and counties in the area have dealt with the frac sand issue throughout Western Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota.  While some municipalities have allowed mining or transportation of the sand, a few have denied requests for opening facilities.  Still others, including Houston County, have delayed any permits for mining while studying the potential impacts of frac sand operations on the environment and infrastructure.    

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