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Frac-Sand Mining and Processing Operations in Wisconsin Doubled in 2012
By Kate Golden
Five years ago, Wisconsin only had a handful of industrial sand facilities. Over the past two years, the increased demand for frac-sand drove explosive growth in the state’s sand industry.
Frac-sand operations, including mining sites, processing plants and loading stations where the sand is poured into rail cars for transport, more than doubled in the past year. Some companies, such as Preferred Sands in Blair, operate all-in-one facilities where the sand is mined, processed and loaded into rail cars at one contained site. Other companies, such as EOG in Chippewa Falls, have a network of several mine sites that serve one processing plant and rail-loading facility. Smaller mine operators without their own processing capabilities haul sand to processing and transportation hubs including Marshfield or Winona, Minnesota.
The map shows the 107 sites currently permitted and proposed frac-sand facilities in Wisconsin. Of the facilities shown, 87 are permitted and the remaining 20 are still in the proposal stages, but Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reporting found that almost all proposed mines eventually receive permits, so we included them all on the map. Sites are color coded by the type of facility—mining, processing or both.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.