Anti-frac coalition calls for mining ban, plans rally at industry conference

May 9, 2016 By Chris Hubbuch, La Crosse Tribune

Calling silica sand a direct and indirect threat to health, community and the environment, representatives from more than a dozen organizations called for a ban on frac sand mining Monday, the eve of an industry conference in La Crosse.

“Frac sand is a dangerous business on many levels,” said Pat Wilson, chairman of the Coulee Region Sierra Club chapter.

The fine-grained silica sands prevalent across western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota have long been mined for industrial use, but recent advances in a gas and oil drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing created enormous demand for the sand, which is used to open cracks in underground rocks.

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