UPDATE: Wis. AG levies $200K fine against mining company

UPDATED Monday, December 16, 2013 --- 8:16 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice says a sand mining company will pay $200,000 in forfeitures for a pollution case in 2011 after mud and sand slid down a hill into a stream and wetland.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced the forfeitures against Preferred Sands for violations of a stormwater permit on a 350-acre site.

Sand mining plays a key role in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, where sand, chemicals and water are injected into the ground at high pressure. Sand from Wisconsin is shipped to oil-producing regions such as North Dakota.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Preferred Sands began operating a sand mine on top of a bluff near Larkin Valley Creek. Justice Department lawyers said that the company failed to notify the DNR when it sharply expanded production.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2012 --- 4:50p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking the state Department of Justice to prosecute two silica sand mining companies for pollution violations.

DNR spokesman Ed Culhane says they are the first two cases the agency has referred to the DOJ since the so-called frac sand mining boom started in the state.

The DNR alleges Preferred Sands of Minnesota failed to have a storm water pollution prevention plan in place when a dike embankment collapsed at a Trempealeau County mine. The March 3 collapse sent more than 2,100 feet of river mud into privately-owned land.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (http://bit.ly/KTacW7) says the DNR is also recommending Interstate Energy Partners and Tiller Corp. be prosecuted for failing to maintain dikes and berms around a Burnett County mine where muddy water flowed into a creek entering the St. Croix River.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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