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Controls sought for Wisconsin’s growing frac sand mining

Madison (AP) — The growing frac sand mining industry in Wisconsin has prompted a legislator to propose some controls.

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is circulating five bills that would give property owners and local government more power over where the mines and processing plants are located.

The Alma Democrat represents a district in western Wisconsin where numerous frac sand operations are located. The state has almost 50 mining plants in operation. Dozens more have been proposed as demand for the fine-grained sand has grown.

Vinehout wants to prohibit frac sand mining within 2,500 feet of a residentially-zoned district. Her bills also would authorize counties to issue licenses for frac sand exploration.

The La Crosse Tribune reported another proposal would make frac sand mining a conditional use in all areas zoned as agricultural.

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