Planning and Zoning for “Frac Sand” Mining

SKU G4005-01

Author(s) Anna Haines.

The G4005 series of publications is designed to help Wisconsin communities anticipate and head off problems that may be caused by Wisconsin's sudden boom in mining of frac sand to supply the natural gas and oil industries in other states.

In this, the first fact sheet of the series, the author discusses various planning tools, regulatory tools, and incentive tools that communities have available to deal with problems that sand mining can cause, including problems with groundwater, air quality, reclamation after the mine is closed, truck traffic on local roads, dust, noise, and so on. 

Wisconsin has large deposits of precisely the kind of sand needed for the now popular hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting oil and natural gas, and this is why suddenly Wisconsin has experienced a boom in the business of mining sand and exporting it to other states (12 pages; 2012).