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Companies Face Environmental Fines


According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Interstate Energy Partners and Tiller Corp. were fined for allowing muddy water to escape from their facility in far northwestern Wisconsin. The spill was first reported by a concerned citizen hiking along the St. Croix River. It was determined that the fine grained sediment had been leaking into wetlands, a stream and the St. Croix for about a week.

Steve Sisbach, section chief of environmental enforcement for the Department of Natural Resources, said muddy water can have a big impact on habitat.

“The sediment itself – that can clog or impact spawning areas and habitat for a lot of the microorganisms that are part of the food chain for fish and other aquatic life,” stated Sisbach. “There are also nutrients … attached to the soil particle as well that again can contribute to the nitrification.”

This is the third judgment against frac sand companies in a month, but the violations happened in 2012. Frac sand companies have been ordered to pay $360,000 to the state in the last month. The DNR says three more cases were referred to the Department of Justice in 2013.