The Wisconsin DNR will not fine Hi-Crush Proppants for the May spill of mining sludge that polluted area property and flowed into the Trempealeau River. The DNR will not levy the fine because state law allows WPDES permits to be violated in the case of an emergency (and in this case the side of the pond was breached to save the life of an operator who had fallen into the pond). 

This may or may not be a reasonable judgment, but questions have been raised over the fact that Hi-Crush and its employees have been large contributors to the state GOP and Scott Walker. As long as companies can make large campaign donations in an attempt to influence lawmakers, all decisions made by government agencies will remain under a cloud. Many local citizens are not satisfied with the response level to the spill, which has still left some areas un-restored. 

In some ways it is ironic that much of the Whitehall operation is currently shut down to a decline in the demand for frac sand. 

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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