Mining companies have formed a trade group in Wisconsin and hired lobbying and PR firepower as sand mining in the state grows exponentially amid increased use of sand for hydraulic fracking.
Opposition to the mining has cropped up in the Badger State as three counties have instituted moratoriums on new mining activity.
Badger Mining Corp., U.S. Silica, Unimin and Fairmount Minerals are the founding companies of The Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, announced Aug. 28.
Rich Budinger, a regional manager for Fairmount, is president of the group and said in a statement that its goal is to "promote a transparent discussion about all issues relating to sand mining in Wisconsin." He added that the industry dates back more than a century in the state and is even recognized on its state flag.
Chicago-based independent firm Laughlin Constable, which has a Milwaukee office, has been engaged for PR. Evan Zeppos, earlier this year dubbed the “most high-profile PR executive in Milwaukee” by a local business journal, is heading the account with VP Brenna Sadler.
Zeppos’ firm was acquired by LC last month.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted that Wisconsin had 73 mines and 37 plants as of May 2012, up from only five mines and five plants in 2010.