Rock Products - The Leading Voice of the Aggregate Industries.

Plant Expansion Drawing Fire

The proposed expansion of a Wisconsin Proppants frac sand mine in Hixton, Wis., has drawn opposition from nearby residents and others concerned about air quality, according to the Jackson County Chronicle.

A group voiced concerns about the impact of silica sand on air quality and health during a hearing for air pollution control permits for the proposed project during a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hearing.

The DNR preliminarily approved the air pollution control construction and operation permits for the project, which would include expansion of the processing operations and addition of a railcar unloading facility. However, it will review and take into consideration comments from the hearing, said DNR environmental engineering supervisor Susan Lindem.

Lindem said after the hearing that the DNR conducts yearly quality assurance checks on air monitors at mine sites like Wisconsin Proppants. The department in May conducted a full compliance evaluation at the current operation and “did not notice any non-compliance, she said.

The public comment period for the two air quality permits has concluded and the DNR will conduct its review and also make them available to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The decision on approving or denying permits will be made within 60 days.

Wisconsin Proppants also is scheduled for a hearing on a conditional use permit before Jackson County’s zoning committee. The hearing will address more than 2,000 sq. ft. of proposed filling and grading work within the shoreland area of Curran Coulee Creek.