Moratorium proposed in Town of Star PrairieArea News
-- In an effort to prepare for the inevitable, the Town of Star Prairie, Wis. is proposing a moratorium on all non-metallic mining operations within the township.
By: Jackie Grumish , Pierce County Herald
In an effort to prepare for the inevitable, the Town of Star Prairie, Wis. is proposing a moratorium on all non-metallic mining operations within the township.
According to Mike Burke, town clerk, St. Croix County has an abundance of industrial silica sand, the well-rounded sand composed of almost pure quartz grains, used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”
Recently frac sand operations have been popping up all over Wisconsin and many of the cities and towns home to these operations don’t have any ordinances to regulate them.
In St. Croix County, there are regulations for frac mines; however, some municipalities have chosen to adopt their own, stricter rules. In the Town of Star Prairie that option is being investigated.
“We’re trying to figure out whether we need our own ordinance of whether we want to dove-tail off the county,” Burke said.
As of Nov. 1 there were no mining proposals in the township, he said.
“This is just a precautionary step because of the growing trend and the concerns,” he said.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7:10 p.m. to deal with the non-metallic mining issue.
If approved, the moratorium would ban the expansion of existing, and the establishments of new, non-metallic operations within the township for 12 months.
According to the hearing notice, the moratorium will allow the town plan commission and town board time to address public health, safety and welfare concerns and environmental impacts that non-metallic mining operations entail.
The notice further states that the proposed moratorium will allow the board to examine the potential negative impacts of such operations and to determine whether such operations are consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan.
For more information about the public hearing, contact Burke at 715-246-9878.