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Frac Sand Mining


Frac sand, also referred to as industrial sand or silica sand, is uniform quartz sand of a specific grain shape and size used for hydraulic fracturing. The grains must be very round and extremely hard in order to work successfully as a proppant for hydraulic fracturing. During hydraulic fracturing, the frac sand is suspended in chemicals and water and then injected into oil and gas wells under high pressure. This causes the frac sand to prop open fractures that are created from the fluid being pumped into the well at high pressure.

The increased use of frac sand during hydraulic fracturing created a boom in the frac sand mining industry. Specifically, two states that have experienced a large boom in the frac sand mining industry are Wisconsin and Minnesota. As a result, environmentalists have expressed concern for the impact on public health and the environment. Additionally, regulations are being revised to meet the demands and concerns of the frac sand mining industry.

This guide is intended to represent a collection of legal resources relating to frac sand mining. While the Center for Agriculture and Shale Law makes every effort to maintain and update the content furnished in this guide, no warranty or other guarantee is made regarding the timeliness or accuracy of any information provided.

Author - Jessica Deyoe

For more information, please contact the Guide Author, Jessica Deyoe,  Research Assistant  at The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law.  

Phone: (814) 865-4290


The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law

Penn State Law

The Pennsylvania State University

329 Innovation Blvd., Suite 118

University Park, PA 16803

Phone: (814) 865-4290

Fax: (814) 865-3851