Get the Frac Out of Here! Wisconsin River Board Denies Mining Permits


On August 22, the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board voted 6-2 to deny a frac sand mine that is owned by Pattison Sand Co., an Iowa-based company, the right to extend 41 acres into the protected riverway according to The Capital Times.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that some members of the River Board who called a frac sand mine a bad idea, thought the permit may be approved due to a “loophole” in state law.

According to the state law, the site needs to be 500 feet away from the river and not visible from water when leaves are on the trees.

“The board felt there was enough gray area in the law to vote to deny,” Mark Cupp, executive director of the board and non-voting member said.

The ruling on August 22 has not stopped the company from further plans. According to Beth Regan, Pattison Sand’s permits and compliance coordinator, the company will continue with the remained of the mining site according the The Times. That area is roughly 250 acres of land between Wisconsin Highway 60 and the lower Wisconsin River.

However, The Times reports that the future of the rest of the mine not planned on the state-protected riverway is in question. On August 21, four Bridgeport, Wisconsin residents filed a lawsuit alleging the permits should be revoked for several reasons. The biggest reason is a “conflict of interest allegation against four current and former Bridgeport officials who voted to approve the frac sand mine,” The Times says.

The August 22 meeting had about 150 people in attendance and heard from 50 with the majority against the mine.

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