Bryan Cohen Dec. 18, 2013, 8:17pm

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment Monday against a Blair-area sand mining operation that allegedly engaged in storm water violations.

Preferred Sands of Wisconsin LLC allegedly failed to prevent the discharge of pollutants from its operations through the use of physical controls and pollution prevention practices. State law requires such preventative measures to keep sediment and other contaminants from being discharged through storm water into wetlands, natural streams or groundwater. Preferred Sands allegedly allowed polluted sediment to exit the Trempealeau County sand mining operation.

Judge John Damon signed an order Dec. 12 that required Preferred Sands to pay $200,000 to the state as statutory charges, forfeitures and costs.

"Wisconsin will continue to enforce its storm water protection laws to prevent related pollution of our ground and surface waters," Van Hollen said. "Operators of all sand mines must be vigilant in their adherence to Wisconsin's environmental protection regulations,"

In January 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released a report on state silica sand mining, which found that there was a recent significant surge in the number of sand mines due to an increase in hydrofracking. Hydrofracking is a technique used to extract crude oil and/or natural gas from rock formations. Wisconsin possesses the high quality sand needed for the process.

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