2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
March 27, 2015 - Introduced by Senators Vinehout,
Erpenbach, Lassa, Miller, Risser and Wirch, cosponsored by
Representatives Danou, Berceau, Billings, Bowen, Brostoff, Considine,
Goyke, Hebl, Kolste, Ohnstad, Pope, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Subeck, C. Taylor,
Wachs and Zepnick. Referred to Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining,
1An Act to amend
chapter 295 (title) and subchapter I (title) of chapter 295 2
[precedes 295.11]; and to create
295.22 of the statutes; relating to: county
3authority relating to exploration for a type of industrial sand.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law requires counties to regulate the reclamation of nonmetallic
mining sites. Nonmetallic mining is the extraction of nonmetallic materials,
including stone, gravel, clay, and sand.
This bill authorizes counties to issue licenses for frac sand exploration. Frac
sand is a type of industrial sand that can be used in deep wells to prop open rock
fissures and increase the flow of natural gas or oil. Exploration consists of drilling
holes for the purpose of searching for frac sand or establishing the nature and extent
of a frac sand deposit.
Under the bill, a person who applies to a county for a frac sand exploration
license must submit a bond to ensure that drillholes will be properly filled and proof
that the person has liability insurance covering personal injury and property
damage. The bill requires a licensee to notify the county before beginning drilling
and before filling a drillhole.
The bill requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide technical
assistance related to frac sand exploration to a county upon request.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Chapter 295 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
NONMETALLIC MINING RECLAMATION
ferrous metalliC mining
Subchapter I (title) of chapter 295 [precedes 295.11] of the statutes 7
is amended to read:
NONMETALLIC MINING RECLAMATION
295.22 of the statutes is created to read:
12295.22 Exploration for frac sand. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Abandon" means to fill or seal a drillhole.
(b) "Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion, or other 15
drilling involved in exploration for frac sand.
(c) "Exploration" means the on-site geologic examination from the surface of 17
an area by core, rotary, percussion, or other drilling of holes that do not exceed 18 18
inches in diameter for the purpose of searching for frac sand or establishing the 19
nature and extent of a known frac sand deposit and associated activities such as 20
clearing and preparing sites and constructing roads for drilling.
(d) "Frac sand" means a type of industrial sand that can be used in deep well 2
applications to prop open rock fissures and increase the flow rate of natural gas or 3
(e) "Licensee" means a person with an exploration license issued by a county.
(f) "Parcel" means an identified section, fractional section, or government lot.
(g) "Termination" means filling of drillholes and reclamation and revegetation 7
of drilling sites.
8(1m) County authority.
A county may issue exploration licenses to persons 9
who engage in exploration, or who contract for the services of a driller for purposes 10
of exploration, in accordance with this section.
In a county that issues exploration licenses, no person may engage 12
in exploration, or contract for the services of a driller for purposes of exploration, 13
unless the person has an exploration license from the county. A person applying for 14
an exploration license shall submit with the application a fee in the amount specified 15
by the county. Exploration licenses expire on June 30 each year.
(a) A person seeking an exploration license shall submit with the 17
application a bond in the amount of $5,000 conditioned on faithful performance of the 18
requirements of the county relating to termination.
(b) The county may require the amount of a bond submitted under par. (a) to 20
be increased if the county determines that a licensee's level of activity makes it likely 21
that the bond would be inadequate to fund the termination of all drillholes in the 22
county for which the licensee is responsible.
(c) A county may not release any part of a bond under this subsection until the 24
licensee satisfactorily completes termination at the parcels covered by the bond.
A person seeking an exploration license shall submit with the 2
application a certificate of insurance showing that the person has in force a liability 3
insurance policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in this state 4
covering all exploration conducted or contracted for by the person in the county and 5
affording personal injury and property damage protection in a total amount 6
determined to be adequate by the county, but not less than $50,000.
7(5) Notice procedure.
(a) A licensee shall notify the county of the licensee's 8
intent to drill on a parcel at least 10 days before the beginning of drilling.
(b) A licensee shall notify the county, orally or in writing, before the beginning 10
of drilling of each drillhole.
(c) A licensee shall notify the county, orally or in writing, at least 24 hours 12
before filling a drillhole.
A licensee shall abandon each drillhole in a manner 14
approved by the county.
15(7) Drilling fees.
A licensee shall pay to the county a drilling fee in the amount 16
specified by the county for each hole drilled in the county.
17(8) License revocation or suspension.
A county may revoke or suspend an 18
exploration license if it determines that any of the following apply:
(a) The licensee has not complied with state law or with a requirement imposed 20
by the county.
(b) The licensee has failed to increase bond amounts to adequate levels as 22
provided under sub. (3) (b).
23(9) Public information.
A county that issues exploration licenses shall make 24
all of the following available to the public:
(a) Information concerning licensees.
(b) Information concerning parcels on which exploration is being conducted, 2
including maps and descriptions of the parcels.