Trempealeau Co. shuts down sand mine

Trempealeau County regulators have shut down a frack sand mine that they say was dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond.

The Star Tribune reports the Guza Pit near Independence was shut down this week after operating without a permit. County zoning office chief Kevin Lien says the mine could face fines. The county requires certain polluted water to be dumped into a lined pond.

Sand mining plays a key role in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which sand, chemicals and water are injected into the ground at high pressure. Sand from Wisconsin is shipped to oil-producing regions such as North Dakota.

Lien says the 1,600-acre mining and processing site was operated by Superior Silica Sands. The Texas-based company didn’t return phone calls from the newspaper Tuesday.