Retraction Statement Regarding LSP Report “Breaking the Rules for Profit” & AllEnergy

The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) report, “Breaking the Rules for Profit: An Analysis of the Frac Sand Industry’s Violations of State Regulations & Manipulation of Local Governments in Wisconsin,” posted on our website on Nov. 6, 2014, inadvertently contained errors regarding AllEnergy. These errors have been retracted in a revised version of the report, which is now on our website here.

In the original report, on page 12, there is a description of AllEnergy seeking annexation by the city of Arcadia, Wis. LSP incorrectly stated that AllEnergy had in the past operated a nursing home. This statement was inaccurate and has been retracted.

LSP incorrectly stated AllEnergy brought a $20 million damage suit against Trempealeau County for “lost business” due to the county issuing a moratorium on frac sand mining. The report should have stated that AllEnergy filed a lawsuit to challenge the denial of a conditional use permit by Trempealeau County, and in the lawsuit AllEnergy filed a motion to claim damages of $20 million. The court denied the motion.

Language from Original Report:

1. AllEnergy (Arcadia, Trempealeau County)

September 2014: AllEnergy, which is proposing a mining, processing, and transport facility in Trempealeau County, is suing the county for "lost business" because of the county’s moratorium on frac sand mining, while simultaneously trying to persuade the city of Arcadia to annex the property. They offered the county a $20 million settlement, but the county unanimously voted against it and will proceed with the trial. Meanwhile, AllEnergy tried to persuade the city government to annex the property in exchange for up to $1 million in yearly royalties. AllEnergy also offered to build a nursing home for the community, but citizens opposed it, noting that facilities like this run by AllEnergy in other towns have failed. Ultimately, the city not only refused annexation but voted 4-1 for a one-year moratorium.

Revised Report (11/26/14):

1. AllEnergy (Arcadia, Trempealeau County)

September 2014: AllEnergy, which is proposing a mining, processing, and transport facility in Trempealeau County, filed a lawsuit to challenge the denial of a conditional use permit by Trempealeau County. In the lawsuit, AllEnergy filed a motion to claim damages of $20 million. The court denied the motion. AllEnergy tried to persuade the city of Arcadia to annex the property, offering up to $1 million in yearly contributions. AllEnergy also offered to build a nursing home for the community, but citizens opposed it. Ultimately, the city not only refused annexation but voted 4-1 for a one-year moratorium.

Other corrections and changes, not related to AllEnergy, have been made in the revised report, “Breaking the Rules for Profit: An Analysis of the Frac Sand Industry’s Violations of State Regulations & Manipulation of Local Governments in Wisconsin”:

Addition to cover page: Revised on November 26, 2014

Addition on inside cover: IMPORTANT NOTE: The original version of this report posted on our website on Nov 6, 2014, inadvertently contained errors. These errors have been corrected in this revised version of the report issued Nov. 26, 2014. Full details on this are here: https://landstewardshipproject.org/posts/667.

Changes on page 2:

Original report: As recently as October 6, for instance, a mine in Trempealeau County was shut down for operating without proper permits, prompting a frustrated local regulator to say “they are just running wild, with no permit at all.”(6,7)

Revised report: As recently as October, for instance, a mine in Trempealeau County was shut down by county officials for operating without proper permits, prompting a frustrated regulator to say “they are just running wild, with no permit at all.”(6,7) It was determined later that while the mine was in fact permitted, there were substantial violations of the permit.

Changes on page 11:

Original Report: Section II: Manipulation of Local Governments. In addition to violating state laws, the frac sand industry has been willing to ride roughshod over local governments. There have been at least eight cases in the last two years of frac sand companies using the promise of increased property tax income to try and persuade city governments to annex their proposed mine sites. Once the land is annexed by the city, the company is subject to city regulations and is therefore no longer required to follow county or township laws, such as moratoriums, limits on hours of operation, and requirements for air quality monitoring. This effectively allows frac sand companies to circumvent local laws and gain weaker regulations. In some cases, the threat of pursuing annexation forces local governments to relax their regulations. Too often, when there is local opposition, frac sand companies have been ready to use bullying tactics to get what they want rather than address concerns and work with citizens and local governments.

Revised Report: Section II: Manipulation of Local Governments. In addition to violating state environmental regulations, the frac sand industry has been willing to ride roughshod over local governments. There have been at least eight cases in the last two years of frac sand companies using tactics such as the promise of increased property tax income to try and persuade city governments to annex their proposed mine sites. Once the land is annexed by a city, the company is subject to the city’s regulations and is no longer subject to moratoriums, limits on hours of operation, requirements for air quality monitoring or other regulations imposed by the county or township. This effectively allows frac sand companies to circumvent county and township laws and in many cases gain weaker regulations at the city level. In some cases, the threat of pursuing annexation forces township or county governments to relax their regulations. Too often, when there is local opposition, frac sand companies have been ready to use bullying tactics to get what they want rather than address concerns and work with citizens and local governments.

Changes on page 13:

Original Report: 6. Superior Silica and Cameron Rail (Independence, Trempealeau County)

…On October 6, 2014, Trempealeau County temporarily shut down the mine because it was operating without proper permits and “dump[ing] polluted wastewater into an unlined pond” in violation of a county ordinance. Because the city had not granted the mine the required permits for operation, it remained under jurisdiction of the county.(86)

(Footnote 86) Amelia Wedemeyer, “Independence sand mine halted,” Winona Post, 8 Oct 2014. http://www.winonapost.com/stock/functions/VDG_Pub/detail.php?choice=59740&home_page=1&archives=

Revised Report: 6. Superior Silica and Cameron Rail (Independence, Trempealeau County)

…In October 2014, Trempealeau County found that the mine was “disturbing land within 300 feet of a nearby stream; pumping a sand-water slurry through a pipe beneath the stream when only water was allowed, and using unlined settling ponds for water containing polyacrylamide mining chemicals” in violation of their reclamation plan filed with the county.(86) Because the city had not granted the mine the required permits for operation, it remained under jurisdiction of the county.(87)

(Footnote 86) Tony Kennedy, “Frac-sand firm cited in Wisconsin is wrong one,” Star Tribune, 14 Oct 2014. http://www.startribune.com/local/279226622.html.

(Footnote 87) Tony Kennedy, “Wisconsin county.”