Frac Sand Mining
Frac sand is a high-purity quartz sand injected into wells to blast and hold open cracks in the shale rock layer during the fracking process. In the US, frac sand is being mined intensively from sandstone deposits across large swaths of land in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. With the sand, however, comes several air, water, and public health concerns. These include but are not limited to: displacing agricultural lands and ecologically sensitive ecosystems; damaging surface water, like streams; and
introducing silica sand into the air, which is a human health hazard. Additionally, community tensions and distrust often follow such a major industrial expansion. These photos depict frac sand mining and infrastructure in various locations around the US.
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