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Sand mine moratorium ends

(WEAU) – The issue over sand mining still has many people concerned in Wisconsin.

"This is so much more complicated in so many ways then what we can imagine, even at this time even after four years of working with it here in Chippewa Falls," said Patricia Popple, President of Concerned Chippewa Citizens.

Yet she does agree with the Eau Claire County Board Chair Gregg Moore who says the changes resulting from the moratorium will be helpful.

"One was to the health code to strengthen our protection for ground water and air issues. Also our storm water and soil erosion control regulations and finally our zoning code," said Eau Claire County Board Chair Gregg Moore.

Hi-Crush and High Country are exempt from the new zoning requirements involving mines larger than 10 acres, but they will have to follow the new health requirements.

"I think with regulations what we did look at was what is going in other states, what's going on in other counties and what does the research say so make some research based decisions here," said Moore.

Meanwhile Popple says there should be a statewide moratorium to analyze more pieces to this issue.

"The one downside to this is by taking a short moratorium is that there still is a lot of unknowns about the effects and the impact of this heavy industrial operation," said Popple.

Mines in Eau Claire County will need to be 1000 feet from homes, 75 feet from roads, and operate during certain hours. The amount of dust released into the air will also be controlled.

Moore says there is a way for these companies to be monitored. It involves his people not only travelling to the site themselve, but these companies will have to give information back to the county. Then it will be handled off to the Department of Natural Resources.



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