Intensive sand mining is occurring across large swaths of land in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan because the sand produced there is needed for hydraulic fracturing, a component of oil and gas extraction. With the sand, however, comes a number of air, water, public health concerns. These include but are not limited to:
Displacing agricultural lands and ecologically sensitive ecosystems,
Damaging surface water, like streams, and
Introducing silica sand into the air, which is a human health hazard.
Additionally, community tensions and distrust often follow such a major industrial expansion. Learn more about these issues and more below.