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County moratorium on new frac-sand mines won't prevent one plan

INDEPENDENCE, WI (WTAQ) - A Trempealeau County moratorium on new frac-sand mines is not stopping one proposal from moving forward.

The Independence City Council voted 5-1 Monday night to annex property to include part a proposed silica-sand mine for Hi-Crush Partners of Texas.

Because the facility would be under municipal regulations, it would step around a temporary county moratorium on new frac-sand mines.

The Whitehall City Council will also decide next Monday whether to annex part of the Hi-Crush property.

The firm has already spent around $4 million to prepare the site for the $75 million mine, which would provide the fine type of sand that oil and gas companies use in their drilling equipment.

The mine would cover about 1,000 acres, and create 61 jobs.

Trempealeau County's moratorium was designed to study the potential health effects of frac-sand mining on local residents.