State and Province News November 2012
Fairmount Minerals announced that it will increase production at its Maiden Rock operation to 1 million tons per year. According to the company, a new wet plant recycles virtually all process water, while a new sand dryer runs on cleaner-burning natural gas instead of propane. The rail loadout area is located farther away from the village of Maiden Rock to reduce the community’s industrial activity. The site produces Northern White sand used for hydraulic fracturing.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) came under fire from residents at a recent meeting of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, the seven-member body that sets policy for the DNR. According to The Leader-Telegram, all but one of the 16 residents who spoke at the meeting cited concerns about silica sand mining. The top concerns were air quality and fugitive dust. Although the DNR monitors the emissions from sand plants, critics claimed that the level of monitoring was inadequate. No one from the industry spoke at the meeting.
Preston Sand & Gravel’s interest in a proposed pit near Jigs Hollow Road will not impact upcoming mediation, the Elmira Independent reports. Dan Kennaley, the township director of planning and engineering, noted that the township’s legal advice indicated that Preston Sand & Gravel’s interest in the pit — owned by Kuntz Topsoil, Sand & Gravel — wouldn’t create any new issues regarding mediation. He also took exception with a local resident’s claim that mediation would only cover the severity of the operation’s impact, not its approval. He noted that mediation could reduce the overall length of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing, in the event that the township failed to reach an agreement with the operator.
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