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Wisconsin appeals court rejects frack-sand lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An appeals court has rejected attempts by a group of landowners to block a proposed frack-sand operation in western Wisconsin.

But the ruling could allow for future legal challenges to be filed claiming damages that haven’t yet occurred.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that an appeals court ruled last week that Jackson County landowners hadn’t provided enough evidence to show they would be harmed by AllEnergy Hixton’s proposed $130 million project. Three families in Hixton had filed a lawsuit in 2016 against the Iowa company. That suit was eventually dismissed, leading to the families’ appeal.

Even in ruling against the families, the court officially recognized the legal strategy they were using. That strategy is known as “anticipated private nuisance” under Wisconsin law. This was the first case in state history to apply the legal strategy to the frack-sand industry.

The attorney Tim Jacobson said the ruling is “a huge victory for private property rights.”

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