Proposed sand mine causing controversy in Chippewa County

Bloomer (WQOW)- A sand mine near Bloomer is hoping to expand. 

Currently, Chippewa Sand Company LLC is mining 142 acres, but if the expansion is approved the site will cover about 1,085 acres of land. 

The company wants to extract sand and sandstone using things like excavators and bulldozers.

Patricia Popple lives in Chippewa Falls, and thinks this expansion is a bad idea.
 
There are few studies on how fracking impacts the environment and communities in the long term. 

Chippewa County documents state the company wants to drain its contaminated storm and waste water into a nearby stream. 

Popple thinks that could be a safety hazard for wildlife, and is worried it could even impact our drinking water. 

"Silica is a carcinogen, silica, crystalline silica dust, and when they open up these formations of sand stone here that are 500 million years old, they’re actually opening up all kinds of dust. There’s lots of fugitive dust that results too with the trucking and transport by railroad," Popple said.

News 18 reached out to company officials and all they’d say is they want to expand their facility in Bloomer, and will operate how they always do. 

A public meeting is being held Tuesday at the Chippewa County Courthouse at 7 p.m., in room 302. 

The committee has 60 days to approve or deny the expansion after Tuesday’s meeting. 

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