Pat Popple, a member of Concerned Chippewa Citizens of Chippewa Falls gave a speech at a public meeting in Red Wing on May 24. Her most disturbing story was about how local government bargained with the mining company and turned a deaf ear to the people who were against it.
About a week ago, I drove over to Menomonie, WI to have a look at the open pit frac sand mine there. I recorded this short interview with Jerry, a county resident, with the mine in the background.
After the interview, I drove around the perimeter of the site to get a better look. It’s hard to show the scale of the mine with a camera. The ugliest view was on the back side. I looked across a farm field and saw giant mounds of raw dirt framing a pile of sand, where a bluff used to be.
In an attempt to get closer, I strayed onto company land, and was quickly met by a nervous, but polite mine manager, who invited me to come to his office. “We’ll call the main office, and maybe I can give you a tour.” I said I’d stop by–but headed in the opposite direction, once I reached my car. Bad manners, but I was late for another interview.
Monday morning, I went over to the Windsor Permian property with a friend, to see what’s there. We walked the bluffs on both sides of highway 58 and a big ravine. Judging by the size of the ravine, there’s a lot of runoff from this property. And, of course, it all ends up in Hay Creek.
This site contains video and information related to industrial sand mining in Minnesota and Wisconsin, near the Mississippi river. It will be updated regularly.
I’m documenting this issue by making videos. If you have a story to tell or you want me to know about something, you can contact me via email through this site.
If you’d like specific information about the sand mine controversy in Goodhue County, MN, including contacts, facts and a blog, please go to http://www.everythingredwing.com/nosand/blog/