- Associated Press - Thursday, August 21, 2014

WHITEHALL, Wis. (AP) - Trempealeau County’s year-long moratorium on silica sand mining is set to expire at the end of this month.

The Winona Daily News reports (https://bit.ly/1tlRZnV ) the county board voted 8-7 against extending the moratorium at a packed meeting this week.

The extension request came from a county health committee.

During the moratorium, a study committee was formed to examine whether sand mining negatively affects the public health and safety. Cheryl Rhoda, the county’s director of public health, says the committee’s report should be finalized soon and presented to the county board in mid-September.

Trempealeau County has boomed with silica sand mining applications in recent years, and at points has contained up to a quarter of Wisconsin’s approved sand operations.

The oil-and-gas drilling industry uses Upper Midwest silica sand for hydraulic fracturing.

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