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Hi Crush mine

Cleanup continues June 4 on farm fields from the May 21 spill of 10 million gallons of mine sludge at the Hi-Crush sand mine in Whitehall.

Cleanup continued Monday two weeks after the release of 10 million gallons of sludge from a Trempealeau County sand mine.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has yet to release data from tests on water samples taken after the May 21 spill, but agency spokesman James Dick said Monday that staff are reviewing results but “preliminary monitoring data so far indicate that there is no immediate toxicity.”

Dick also said there have been no observed fish kills and dissolved oxygen levels remain “good” on the Trempealeau River.

Workers at the Hi-Crush mine in Whitehall drained a holding pond after a bulldozer slipped into the water. The driver escaped uninjured after about 2 1/2 hours in the air-tight cab.

Hi Crush mine

Cleanup continues Monday on farm fields of the May 21 spill of 10 million gallons of mine sludge at the Hi-Crush sand mine in Whitehall.

The mine sludge spilled into a tributary of the Trempealeau River that runs past Mary Jo Bork’s home on Pocker Coulee Road. She said she didn’t learn the source until hours later when mine representatives showed up at her door.

Bork said a four-acre strip recently seeded with wildflowers and a crop field rented to a neighboring farmer were coated in orange sludge with an oily sheen on top.

Crews have been working since the spill with suction trucks and heavy equipment to remove the much. Bork said she was told Monday the cleanup could last for weeks.

According to Trempealeau County, the sludge covered an area about 1.5 miles long and 250 yards across.

Hi-Crush officials said the pond contained mostly water, silt, clay and sand, though it could contain trace amounts of a polyacrylamide, which is used to remove silt from the water.

“They keep telling me it’s safe, but this isn’t just water,” she said. “It’s goopy stuff.”

Chris Hubbuch can be reached at 608-791-8217. Follow him on Twitter @chrishubbuch.



Rhymes with Lubbock. La Crosse Tribune reporter and data geek. Covers energy, transportation and the environment, among other things.

(13) comments

Luna A Sol

It would seem that some of Hi Crush's drama queens have migrated to the La Crosse tribune. Good job fellas....poison the water then trash the victims. The results are back high levels of toxic heavy metals including lead and mercury. Not a one of you loudmouths would have your families drink this poison, but here you are ...running your nasty mouths.

Luna A Sol

Sorry. I should not have called anyone a drama queen. It just gets old hearing some of the comments.


Now that the DNR has determined there is no toxicity, only sludge, the looney libs aren’t satisfied with that. I bet they’d be happier if there were damaged wells and dead fish, an accident like this that caused no real harm doesn’t fit with their anti capitalistic agenda. The libs want to regulate the he// out of businesses because they think profits are evil, BUT is there a solution to ANY problem the libs see that can’t be solved with throwing more money at it? Such as climate change, education, racism, etc, etc. Making money is evil, but if you make any, the libs want it, one wsy or another.


Well, Hoaxer, the RDNR lied about this and has now released the report containing the bombshell that contaminants were well above toxic levels. Do you care to revise your statement?


The Hoaxer says in another forum that he is choosing to believe the lies that were being spread before the evidence was in. Unsurprising.


Hey, since the RDNR (republican department of natural resources) says there was no immediate toxicity, then why not just allow dumping of the sludge every day?


For everyone who thinks this is nothing. If I caught a fish in the water by Parot state park would you eat it? Swimming in it could prove costly in the end from health problems,care to take a swim??? That poor lady who's land was affected,how would you feel and what is her land value now?


the lap dog can't smell the stench because it's too busy gobbling up the treats


DNR has become a rubber stamp (Green Tier anyone? ) for industrial sand production. For this crowd, destruction of the environment is simply the cost of doing business .


They’ll clean up the sludge, no toxicity, the sky is falling crowd can go home now. We don’t need new costly regulations to further burden the poor and down trodden, which by the way, the libs give lip service to, but are actually responsible for making people poor and down trodden. Right where they can control them.


There goes Kathleen Vinehout's campaign issue.


Still clawing your way into the 1-percenter crowd, Hoaxer?


Hubbuch continues to engage in Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt......FUD which rhymes, coincidentally with the word mud. It’s MUD, Chris.

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