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Public Lab Wiki documentation

The Sand Sentinel Program

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The Sand Sentinel Program is aimed at creating an easier way for people to collect and file reports on suspected permit violations by frac sand mining companies.


Due to its use in fracking, the frac sand mining industry has been plaguing communities in western Wisconsin for many years. In September 2018, a number of people from around the Midwest who are fighting frac sand mining issues hosted check-in meetings on how things were going, sharing notes on some projects to date and ideas on pathways forward people were seeing that were new, or could use some more attention (see notes here and here). The Sentinel Program, originally conceived of by @Pat was highlighted as an opportunity.


The goals of this project are to make frac sand mining industry violations easier for people to spot and understand, and to increase accountability and transparency in reporting.

Video introducing this program:

(link to video on youtube)

Links shared in this video:

Sentinel Materials

The sentinel materials are available in print. Email stevie@publiclab.org to request your copy. The materials can also be printed out from this page.

Materials can also be found online here:

1) Frac Sand Mining Pollution Incident Report Form and Guide

2) Observable air quality violations related to frac sand mining

3) Observable water quality violations related to frac sand mining

4) Observable transportation violations related to frac sand mining

5) Local reporting on frac sand mining issues

Materials to run a training on the Sentinel Materials can be found here

People who are involved

Activities we've done in our project



  • CANCELED due to COVID: A second Sentinel Program training in Chippewa County, WI (March 2020)
  • Ran a larger print run of the folder materials
  • Finalized the draft reporting form materials


  • Hosted a fellowship to sift through Wisconsin specific policies that could create observable permit violations,
  • Compiled a draft reporting form with information on what could be collected to support people's observations,
  • Collaborated with partners and residents around Wisconsin and other parts of the country, and
  • Created draft reporting form folder materials
  • Drafted training materials for sharing on how to use the folder
  • Piloted an in-person training,


Get involved or get updates

Interested in getting involved or following along in the project? Subscribe to the tag below to get updates when we post new material and comment in to help!

Subscribe to updates on this project

Updates Below:

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Appreciating Reporting Support Materials @stevie 7 months ago 0
Sentinel Training Online @stevie 9 months ago 5
CANCELED Event: Sand Sentinel Training, Bloomer WI @stevie over 1 year ago 3
Event: Wisconsin Sand Sentinel Training @stevie about 2 years ago 0
Practice reporting suspected frac sand violations @stevie about 2 years ago 3
How do I take good photographs of environmental issues? @stevie over 2 years ago 1
Draft Sand Sentinel Program @stevie over 2 years ago 1
Event: Frac Sand Mining Health Research Public Forum @stevie over 2 years ago 1
Frac Sand Sentinel Fellowship @stevie almost 3 years ago 0
Notes from Tuesday’s frac sand call @stevie about 3 years ago 6
Recent conversations on the frac sand issue @stevie about 3 years ago 15
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