Trempealeau County is taking a step back from issuing frack sand mining permits after approving more than another county in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the last three years.
An overflow crowd at Monday night's county board meeting erupted in applause when members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a moratorium of up to a year on permitting new sand mining projects or allowing existing mines to expand.
Supporters of the moratorium argued it will allow the county, across the Mississippi River from Winona, Minn., to evaluate the health and environmental concerns about sand mining. Without those answers, the county has approved permits for 26 companies mining and processing silica sand on more than 4,700 acres.
The Star Tribune said the moratorium will begin Aug. 30.