Chippewa County to Get, Not One, Not Two, Not Three, but Four Sand Mines

Trevor Kupfer

Not this kind of sand.

It’s strange to think that, only a few short years ago, Chippewa County was having a heated debate about a large sand mining operation coming to the area. And though several residents foresaw air/water quality problems, irritative noise/traffic, and negative impacts to property values, the plan eventually went through and EOG Resources (who took over Canadian Sand & Proppants’ proposal) is hoping to open a 100-acre, $45-$50 million operation late this summer. But it doesn’t stop there. Now three more companies are looking to open sand mining and exporting operations. Superior Sands on 135 acres in Auburn, Preferred Sands on 220 acres in Cooks Valley, and Chippewa Sand Co. just east of Bloomer. Chippewa Falls City Councilman Mike Dahlby has reportedly said it’s too late to stop them from starting, so efforts are going toward public safeguards and land restoration after mining is complete. The companies already must go through a permit process that involves state standards for surface water, groundwater, and wetland protection. So why Chippewa? Apparently the sand is especially hard and round, good qualities when using the sand to extract petroleum from other areas.