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Trending... by Mark S. Kuhar, Editor

Dec. 11, 2019 – An estimated 744 Mt of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2019, an increase...

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Prime-Time Products

CASE Construction Equipment’s new full-size CX350D LR excavator provides increased operating performance in applications that require long-distance bucket reach and precision. The new model features an elongated boom and arm...
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Manufacturers in Focus

The board of directors of Epiroc AB has appointed Helena Hedblom as its new president and CEO, effective March 1, 2020. She will replace Per Lindberg, who has decided to...
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The Strategist

The month of October was a time of contrasting, and therefore conflicting, economic news that can be unsettling at times. The month started with a report from the Institute of...

People on the Move

Supreme Manufacturing, a manufacturer of clamshell dredges and other specialized equipment, announced its recent hire of Elliot Archibald, who joins as vice president of sales and marketing.
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Rock Stars

Mark Williams, environmental manager at Luck Companies, has been recognized by the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) with its 2019 Environmental Leadership Award. This prestigious award honoring outstanding...
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Permit Approval Raises Eyebrows


The Town of Bridgeport, Minn.'s decision to approve two permits for a controversial frac sand mine had conflict-of-interest issues, including those involving two Planning Commission members who had family working for the mining company at the time of their vote, according to a lawsuit.

The complaint was filed in Crawford County Circuit Court a day before the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board is expected to vote on whether to issue a permit for a frac sand mine, which would be located near the Iowa border a few miles east of the Mississippi River, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Plans for the frac sand mine are controversial because of its location partially on land that is protected for its natural beauty.

There are about 100 frac sand mines in the state. Sand in Wisconsin is used in hydraulic fracturing in other parts of the nation and world to obtain natural gas.
Some members of the Riverway Board said in a memo the mine was a bad idea but that a "loophole" in state law might require the board to approve the permit.

The lawsuit alleges Bridgeport Planning Commission members had conflicts: Linda Smrcina's son-in-law and Troy Smrcina's brother-in-law worked for the mining company when they voted on the permit. That information was not made public at the time of the vote, the filing said.

The lawsuit asks for the court to void the two permits granted by the town. An environmental organization, the Crawford Stewardship Project, and neighbors of the mine site filed the suit.

Mark Cupp, executive director of the Riverway Board, said the lawsuit should not change the board's decision-making process. The lawsuit also says zoning ordinances were violated because the town did not consider potential ill effects from the mine.