An incident at the Hi-Crush Frac Sand Facility in Whitehall today was widely covered in state news. A bulldozer and its operator fell into a pond at the site, and needed to be rescued by rescue teams from multiple organizations and companies. The buldozer driver was successfully rescued, but several firefighters were injured during the attempt. They were treated for their injuries and released.

What has not been widely covered are the after-effects of the rescue. Reports are coming in from citizens that the retention pond was breached as part of the rescue attempt, and the contaminated water from the pond has flowed through neighboring fields, into a stream, and from there to the Trempealeau River.  The discharge from the pond is alarmingly bright yellow and the contents are currently unknown. Some local citizens have taken samples from the flow and from the river for further analysis.

We will attempt to keep you informed on this ongoing story. Thanks to Pat Popple and the Frac Sand Sentinel for the initial story and photos, and to Tim Jacobson (Mysteries of the Driftless) for the video of the stream flow.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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