November 22, 2017

The DCS Frac Sand Poster is Here

Frac sand mining companies come at local communities like a runaway bulldozer going 100 mph. – Ric Zarwell, Allamakee County Protectors

Click to see the full poster

Click to see the full poster

“Frac Sand, Why Worry…” is an educational folding poster that summarizes in easy-to grasp-form the nature and impacts of frac sand mining and ways in which the public can act to put the brakes on it.

This project was designed with a graphic arts team of advanced students and their teacher at Messiah College, and was all done over one semester. With a lot of time and effort invested and the students really responding to the material, what their teacher thinks is a possible award winner has been hammered out in a very short time. I worked intensively with them – having filed a grant proposal with their college’s DesignAsService program to get this graphics help, but also working with Pat Popple (Chipewa Concerned Citizens), Robert Nehman and Ric Zarwell (Allamakee County Protectors) and Ted Auch (FracTracker.org in Ohio) and others as well as my own research, to have the content be both ample and accurate. For DCS, this frac sand poster is another effort to help our fellow citizens, and foster a precautionary approach to the Commons.

B. Arrindell, Director, DCS

From the poster:
(See the full poster for more information, including what you can do.)

As a vital part of the full cycle of fossil fuel mining, frac sand is the proppant that holds the induced fractures open for the gas or oil to flow when the pressure is released. According to research from The FracTracker Alliance, the average horizonal shale gas well is currently using 4,300-5,300 tons with demand increasing by 344 tons per year as the wells are drilled longer.

WHY WORRY… The essential frac sand is obtained by strip mining, which leaves behind it a range of devastation from lunar landscapes similar to mountaintop removal in the case of surface operations, to destruction of vital aquifers in the case of subsurface mines, and water contamination (ex. Rockwood Quarry, Newport, MI). As is evident in the experience of Wisconsin and other states in which frac sand mining has already progressed, the list of health, safety, economic, and environmental problems caused is devastating. To start mining operations before essential controls could be put in place for this entirely new industry, mining companies have financed propaganda campaigns that have overwhelmed township and county officials lacking the knowledge of the industry required to make foresightful decisions on behalf of those they represent.

As the frac sand mining industry proceeds without extremely tight controls, the degradation it is causing could well exceed all other damages since white settlement; and the social fabric, tax burden, and quality of life, and health in rural communities is being negatively impacted, perhaps for decades, if not forever.

Contact DCS to get your hard copy of the poster. Donations to support this work are greatly appreciated.