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Frack sand mining forum draws hundreds

MAHTOMEDI, Minn. (AP) — Concern that a frack sand mining boom in Wisconsin could spread to eastern Minnesota drew several hundred people to a forum in Mahtomedi.

Minnesota Industrial Sand Council spokesman Dan Egan told the crowd Tuesday night that the state currently has nine silica sand mining operations and just three new permits have been issued in the past year or so. Minnesota Public Radio reports Egan said the few frack sand mine developers in Minnesota are local companies that are committed to stringent environmental reviews.

Frack sand mining is a burgeoning industry in Wisconsin, where about 100 sand mines are located. The sand is used in hydraulic fracturing to obtain natural gas.

Trempealeau (TREMP'-eh-loh) County in western Wisconsin imposed a moratorium of up to a year after approving permits for 26 mining companies.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.