DNR discovers frac sand spill from anonymous complaint, not the facility

Nearly 400,000 gallons spill into Curran Creek

New details on the frac sand spill in Jackson County show the facility may have known about the spill without reporting it.

The DNR released reports on the spill involving the Wisconsin Proppants or WP Operations in the town of Curran near Black River Falls.

At some point between 4:00 AM and 8:00 AM last Saturday, a pump began transferring sludge from waste storage rather than ‘clear’ water, which was reported by an employee the night before.

The sludge started slowly accumulating in a process pond, eventually overflowing into wetlands and amounting to nearly 400,000 gallons of mine sludge.

The same day, that WP employee checked the water flow and again stated that the water being transferred was clear.

It is unclear why or how the employee did not realize the spill was happening when he made his checks. Only after an anonymous complaint, did a DNR Warden arrive to investigate that Saturday.

By the time the Warden arrived, WP employees had stopped the release and were attempting to clean up the spill.

Curran Coulee Creek crossings that meet with the Trempealeau River were filled with sludge from the spill, but as reported by the DNR there’s no evidence of fish or aquatic life killed.

Crews worked through Sunday to clean up the spill.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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