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This Week’s Market Buzz

According to the Winona Daily News, Buffalo County, Minn., zoning supervisors have voted 3-1 to approve changes to the county’s frac sand regulations. The biggest change would require the county’s board of adjustment to consider both individual and cumulative effects from a mining operation by investigating location, size, traffic density and other factors. Committee chair Tom Taylor said the proposed ordinance as amended is “rock solid.” He said it would be a good starting point and could be modified as needed. Zoning committee member Jim Ziegeweid expressed concerns about the new language, saying it was premature to vote on it without further study. Ziegeweid cast the sole vote against adding the cumulative standards to the permitting process. The new language on studying cumulative effects is intended to address concerns raised by several county residents, who have said the proposed changes don’t go far enough to regulate the booming industry – particularly in addressing any potential effects if several mines were proposed near each other.

Bailey-Parks Urethane will debut an innovative, long-lasting polyurethane piping system to replace the metal systems used on trailers that transport fracking sand at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), May 6-9, 2013, at the Reliant Center in Houston. Representatives of Bailey-Parks will be available to share technical information and answer any questions about this exciting new development at booth number 6100. Frac sand is typically transported via truck using a dry bulk trailer with three hoppers. Sand is extracted from this three-part rig through a system of aluminum pipes that runs along the bottom. Because fracking sand is so abrasive, these metal pipes wear out rather quickly. The Bailey-Parks urethane piping system has been specially designed to stand up to the wear caused by frac sand and lasts significantly longer than its aluminum counterparts. Bailey-Parks make all of its molds, tooling and custom machines at its plant in Memphis, Tenn.

The FRAC Sand Awareness blog is an online resource that claims it is “a regional collaborative dedicated to empowering, uniting and advocating for local communities affected by industrial silica sand mining.” A recent post touts the upcoming special showing of Jim Tittle’s new documentary on frac sand mining in western Wisconsin. “The Price of Sand is an hour-long video exploring the issues and controversy surrounding frac sand mining in our area, and covers the issue both from the viewpoint of anti-mining activists and the sand mining companies,” the post reads. You can read the blog at