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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Some towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota worry as frac sand industry pauses

WINONA, Minn. _ A line of semitrailer trucks rolled onto a scale next to a one-story green shed at Winona's commercial port on a recent afternoon, a weighty procession of raw materials mostly headed for Mississippi ports. Last year, so many of the trucks were filled with northern white frac sand excavated from the region that they filled more than 250 barges shipped downriver to Texas oil fields.tmpplchld And this year?tmpplchld "Not one pound" of frac sand, said Dan Nisbit, owner of the corporation that leases the docks from the city of Winona, about 100 miles southeast of Minneapolis and along the Mississippi River.tmpplchld Frac sand shipments have plummeted thanks to a...