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Wisconsin company seeks to expand sand mine



BLOOMER, Wis. (AP) — A northwestern Wisconsin company has applied for a 60-year permit to expand its sand mine.

Chippewa Sand Co. hopes to expand its roughly 175-acre site near Bloomer to more than 1,000 acres, The Chippewa Herald reported.

“They project deposits and expansion to last approximately 60 years, but language in there (states) it’s completely dependent on market conditions,” county project engineer Christien Huppert said.

Officials from the town of Cooks Valley could also impose a stricter time limit on the permit.

“The town will maybe only issue a permit that’ll last 20 years,” said Darrel Fehr, Cooks Valley chairman. “The reclamation plan isn’t for the whole mine. It’s just for a certain portion of it for now, with the option they can expand into the rest. . We can look at it again in 20 years.”

Chippewa Sand officials will likely explain their plan at a preliminary meeting June 20, Fehr said.

Chippewa County will hold a public hearing on the permit June 26. It will review the company’s reclamation plan, which details its plan to replace topsoil, replant native plants and restore the area to its natural state.

The hearing will only cover the reclamation plan, not “traffic, setbacks, blasting, hours of operation, noise or dust control or the question of whether to use the land for mining,” according to a county public notice.

Officials will work on the permit this fall, Fehr said.

Chippewa Sand will also need to obtain a general stormwater permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Cooks Valley has three sand mines: Chippewa Sand Co., EOG and Preferred Sands.

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