Frac sand is a high-purity quartz sand that is injected into wells to blast and hold open cracks in the shale rock layer during the fracking process. In the United States, frac sand is being mined intensively from sandstone deposits across large swaths of land in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. 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.
Want to know more about frac sand mining? Hear from nearby residents.