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Wisconsin to Appoint Frac Sand Czar

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources could soon have a specialist that would focus on helping frac sand mines navigate the rules and state processes, said Wisconsin’s governor.

With Wood County identified as a prime spot to mine for the sand coveted by natural gas and oil companies, the move could quicken the pace to add local jobs, according to the VOICE of Wisconsin Rapids.

“The (new DNR) staff position that will speed up the process for frac sand oversight and regulation of frac sand mining,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a press conference Jan. 17 before he was the keynote speaker during the chamber of commerce’s annual dinner.

Elevating frac sand mining to its potential – upwards of 1,000 jobs have been estimated – is dependent on reliable infrastructure. Walker’s upcoming budget will include key investments into the state’s infrastructure, he said.

“If you have a good roads and bridges with maintenance, that will make it easier when it comes to not only frac sand but also manufacturing sites and dairy farms and anyone else that depends on a reliable transportation industry,” he said.