Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies have enabled access to hydrocarbon deposits contained in shale rock formations located in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, North Dakota, Utah, Denver, Texas, and other parts of the country. Rapid development of drilling in these regions has generated increased demand for 'frac sand.'
Frac sand is pumped deep into a well with water and chemicals and props open tiny fractures created in the shale bedrock, allowing hydrocarbons to flow into the well and back to the surface. A typical well requires between 1,500 and 2000 tons of sand. Hundreds of thousands of wells are active throughout the United States.
Government Reports and Websites
- WI DNR. 2012 (January). Silica Sand Mining in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- MN DNR. 2012 (October). Industrial Silica Sand: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
- MN EQB. 2013 (March). Report on Silica Sand: Final Report. Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.
- Banerjee, Neela. 2012. Friction over fracking sand: Gas industry boom spurs mine growth in rural Wisconsin, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Chicago Tribune, November 14.
- Prengaman, Kate. 2012. Wisconsin frac sand sites double. WisconsinWatch.org, July 22.
- Smathers, Jason. 2011. Sand mining surges in Wisconsin. WisconsinWatch.org, July 31.
Progressive Media and Citizen Perspectives
- Cantarow, Ellen. 2012. How Rural America Got Fracked. TomDispatch.com, May 20.
- WIvoices.org. 2012. Family Called "Collateral Damage" in Frac Sand Mining District. WIvoices.org
- Gerasimo, Pilar. 2012. Mining Companies Invade Wisconsin for Frac Sand. Eco Watch, April 27.