Frac sand plant proposed near high school - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Frac sand plant proposed near high school

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ALMA, Wisconsin (KTTC) -- Hundreds of community members are rallying against a proposed Frac Sand Plant. Developer Glacier Sands LLC, is hoping to build the plant near the Cochrane-Fountain City Public School.

Before the zoning board meeting began Tuesday evening hundreds of people spoke out at a rally about the adverse health effects caused by Silica mining, the increased truck traffic near the high school and furthermore the decrease in their property values if the plant is approved.

Mining Developer, Glacier Sands Company, said the plant would bring new jobs to the area - stirring economic growth. Discussion surrounding the proposed plant began early this Spring, when the company submitted a conditional use permit to Buffalo County to build a frac drying sand plant and rail loading facility.

The plant would be built directly across from the Cochrane-Fountain City School... While the majority of families are opposed to the new infrastructure, others see the change as a positive.

 "The concerns are the safety and health of our kids," said a concerned Parent.

"I think it's good for the economic growth of Buffalo County, it brings a lot of jobs, money and also is used for the extraction of oil, which could free up the foreign oil use," stated one resident in favor of the plant.

Glacier Sands Company gave a presentation tonight, outlining why the plant doesn't pose health or traffic concerns. They said the drying plant would run 24-7 while trains will continually be loaded. Throughout the course of a day 500 trucks would be arriving at the plant - traveling on high traffic roads. As for the quality of air - Glacier Sands said it will be monitored both on and off the plant site to make sure it *exceeds health guidelines.

"Issues raised publicly about public health concerns and quite frankly Glacier Sand is confident that the additional permitting steps it will need to go thru in the coming months will address those," said a Glacier Sands Spokesperson.

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