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Wisconsin DNR Releases Industrial Sand Strategic Analysis


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has prepared a strategic analysis to reassess the latest scientific, natural resource and socioeconomic information relating to industrial sand mining and its associated infrastructure in Wisconsin.

The strategic analysis updates information provided in a 2012 DNR document entitled, Silica Sand Mining in Wisconsin. The report was intended to be a dynamic document and updated as new, significant information became available.

There are no oil or gas wells located in Wisconsin, thus this document does not address the effects of hydraulic fracturing.

Public comments on the strategic analysis were received by the department from July 5 to August 22. The department also held a hearing on July 26. Sixty people attended the hearing and 22 individuals spoke on the record. The department also received 50 comments on email and by letter.

All public comments will be considered as the DNR prepares the final analysis.

According to DNR, the strategic analysis evaluates factual information to inform policies and approaches for contentious resource issues. The purpose of the analysis is to inform future discussions and decisions.

Strategic analysis follows these general steps:

  1. Scoping – defining the topics and information sources to be considered and the analytical methods to be employed. This step includes public input.
  2. Information gathering and analysis.
  3. Document preparation.
  4. Public review – at least 45 days will be allotted for public review of the analysis, and a hearing may be held.
  5. Comment response – the department will consider all comments received, and may revise the analysis if warranted.
  6. The final version of the analysis document and all comments and supporting information will be made available to the public and press, universities, the governor and legislature, and state, local, federal and tribal agencies.