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Observable transportation violations related to frac sand mining

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This page includes information about observable permit violations of the frac sand mining industry related to transportation.

About Transportation and Frac Sand Mining

The frac sand mining industry uses various forms of transportation including dump trucks, semi's, railroad cars, and conveyors. Regulations may vary from county to county; some are regulated by state law; in terms of railroad regulations, some companies using short lines are more locally regulated while federal laws apply to rail companies that travel interstate. Fugitive dust from conveyors may be a problem; seldom does the DNR regulate fugitive dust whereas the State Patrol has control of dust emissions from vehicular traffic. Towns can also pass ordinances to regulate their use of town roads by mining companies. These can include ordinances to govern truck routes, establish hours of operation, set other limits on trucking and hauling sand and materials (such as weight limits and requiring tarping loads), etc. These protections can be found in Wis. Stats. §§ 349.16 & 349.17.

What can be reported:

  • A truck transporting frac sand material that is stopped:
    • In an intersection
    • On a crosswalk
    • In a safety zone
    • Within 25ft of the nearest rail at a railroad crossing
  • A vehicle or train hauling material from a mine that does not adequately prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping.
  • A train, locomotive or car that stops at a highway or street crossing longer than 10 minutes.

Helpful information to collect for reporting:

  • Photos
  • The name of the company who owns/operates the vehicle
  • License plate number and other identifiable information

Who to report to in Wisconsin:

  • Vehicle: State Patrol Headquarters Phone: 1-844-847-1234

Northwest region (Serves Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix and Trempealeau Counties) Phone: (715) 839-3800

Reporting of an alleged violation can be done through the US Department of Transportation website.

Further information on Relevant Policies:

An owner or operator of a vehicle must reimburse for the damage done to the highway. This is provided for through the agreement that the county highway commissioner enters into with the owner or operator of the vehicle. Wisconsin Statute 349.16(1)(c)
A violation of 346.12 attracts a penalty of a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $40 for the first offense and not less than $50 nor more than $100 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year. Wisconsin Statute 346.17
The operator of a vehicle shall not at any time drive through or over a safety zone when such safety zone is clearly indicated. Wisconsin Statute 346.12
Stopping of a vehicle is prohibited in an intersection, on a crosswalk, between a safety zone and the adjacent curb, on a sidewalk or sidewalk area or within 25 feet of the nearest rail at a railroad crossing. Wisconsin Statute 346.52
No person without a permit therefor shall operate on a highway any vehicle having a total width in excess of 8 feet 6 inches. Wisconsin Statute 348.05(1)
No person without a permit may operate an automobile exceeding an overall height of 13 and a half feet. Wisconsin Statute 348.06(1)
No person, without a permit therefor, may operate on a highway any single vehicle with an overall length in excess of 45 feet or any combination of 2 vehicles with an overall length in excess of 70 feet Wisconsin Statute 348.07(1)
No person shall operate a vehicle on a highway unless such vehicle is so constructed and loaded as to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping from it. Wisconsin Statute 348.10
Transporters that do not take precautions such as covering, treatment or securing of materials likely to become airborne from haul trucks during transport, prior to any transportation off site from the quarry or mine. NR. 415.075
It is unlawful to stop any railroad train, locomotive or car upon or across any highway or street crossing, outside of cities, or leave the same standing upon such crossing longer than 10 minutes, except in cases of accident; and any railroad company that shall violate this section shall be liable to a fine of not more than $500 or any officer of such company responsible for the violation shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than 15 days. 192.292 Trains obstructing highways. Wisconsin Railroad Enforcement