Skip to Main Content

Mining in Wisconsin - state and local government documents : Sand (silica) mining

State and local government information on metallic and sand (aka "silica" or "frac sand") mining in Wisconsin, with an emphasis on policy.

Geology Library

For more about the scientific aspects of mining, please consult the UW-Madison Geology and Geophysics Library.

Information from state agencies

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

From the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

From the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

From the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board

From the Wisconsin State Law Library

From the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

  • Tap the Power: Iron Mining and Frac Sand
    • Compiled in January 2012 by Patricia Reichert.
    • Annotated list of publications and web sites.
    • If a publication is online, this list provides a link to the publication.
    • If no link to a publication is provided, search the UW Madison libraries catalog to see if any campus libraries own the title. Also, the title will be available at the Legislative Reference Bureau's Theobald Legislative Library.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Beth Harper
Memorial Library
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Government Information Specialist


Links last checked March 11, 2016.

Laws and proposed legislation

Note: Additional statutes, regulations & opinions may apply to your specific situation. This information is for reference only; it does not constitute legal advice!

Mining (Metallic and Nonmetallic)

  • Bibliography from the Wisconsin State Law Library.
  • Links to state statutes and parts of the Wisconsin Administrative Code related to mining.
  • Links to U.S. laws (in the U.S. Code) and federal regulations (in the Code of Federal Regulations, aka CFR).
  • Has a link to a site with Wisconsin local ordinances, which you can search for mining-related ordinances
  • Last updated February 24, 2016.

Wisconsin Legislative Documents

Information from county governments

The counties listed below have sandstone formations. County governments have primary responsibility for regulating nonmetallic mines, including sand/silica mines.

A county's board of supervisors has likely considered the topic of mining, and likely has ordinances regarding nonmetallic mining. One way to find minutes of those discussions, or ordinances, is to search a county's web site for the terms mining, silica, frac, or "industrial sand" (using quotation marks will search those words as a phrase) .

In addition, some counties have formed committees, published reports, or passed ordinances about silica mining in particular. Many of these are listed below.  If you want to know for certain if a county has ordinances regarding metallic mining, it's best to search the county's home page.

List of all counties in Wisconsin (click "Wisconsin Counties" on the left of the page for links), from the Wisconsin Counties Association

Adams County   home page

Barron County   home page

Buffalo County   home page

Burnett County   home page

Chippewa County   home page

  • Non Metallic Mining
    • Use the links on the left, under "Non Metallic Mines," to get to documents

Clark County   home page

Columbia County   home page

Crawford County   home page

Dane County   home page

Dodge County   home page

Dunn County   home page

Eau Claire County   home page

Grant County   home page

Green County   home page

Green Lake County   home page

Iowa County   home page

Jackson County   home page

Jefferson County   home page

Juneau County   home page

LaCrosse County   home page

Lafayette County   home page

Marathon County   home page

Marinette County   home page

Marquette County   home page

Monroe County   home page

Oconto County   home page

Outagamie County   home page

Pepin County   home page

Pierce County   home page

  • Land Management and Zoning page has links to selected chapters of the Pierce County code, including " Chapter 241 - Nonmetallic Mining Reclamation"

Polk County   home page

Portage County   home page

Richland County   home page

Rock County   home page

Rusk County   home page

Sauk County   home page

Shawano County   home page

  • Zoning page has links to selected Shawano County ordinances, including " Nonmetallic Mining Reclamation Ordinance"

St Croix County   home page

Trempealeau County   home page

Vernon County   home page

Washburn County   home page

Waupaca County   home page

Waushara County   home page

Winnebago County   home page

Wood County   home page


Frac sand in Wisconsin

Publications about Frac Sand in Wisconsin

  • From the Wisconsin Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.
  • This page has links to many water table maps for counties, as well as some county maps of "depth to bedrock" and "potential well yields," and regional maps of geology.

Information from the Center for Land Use Education

Video of hearings, meetings

Wisconsin Eye
Wisconsin Eye is a statewide, non-partisan, multimedia, public affairs network with a mission to present an independent, statewide view of civic life and public policy discussion. The network covers floor sessions of the state Senate and Assembly, oral arguments in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and events in the Governor's and Attorney General's conference rooms.

The network also covers political and cultural events around the state, as well as public policy discussions.

Finding recordings related to mining

  1. Click the magnifying glass in the search box in the upper left of the screen. This should take you to a search page for the Wisconsin Eye archives.
  2. Type the word mining in the keyword search box.
    Optional: To narrow your search, you can also type one of the following terms: metallic, iron (or names of other specific metals or minerals), nonmetallic, sand, silica, or "industrial sand".
  3. Click the red search button below the search form.
  4. Results will be listed from newest to oldest.

Information from Minnesota

Minnesota maintains a State of Minnesota Silica Sand Information site, with information from the following Minnesota state agencies:
  • Environmental Quality Board
  • Pollution Control Agency
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Agriculture