New Town Residents Tired of Frac Sand - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

New Town Residents Tired of Frac Sand

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New Town residents and city council members are putting pressure on a mineral company to clean up its act.

After months of frac sand building up at the delivery site behind his house, New Town resident Frank Sillitti was beginning to get concerned.

"One day we were out working on the deck and we've had a lot of dust clouds coming off, but everybody complained," Sillitti explained. "I had three workers with me, they all complained their lungs hurt."

That's when he decided to write to the New Town City Council. They discussed the situation at their meeting last month.

"It's a risk not just to me of course, but everybody in New Town," Sillitti said. "In the summer, you can see the clouds of dust go right across Main Street."

Frac sand and energy product distributor Wildcat Minerals owns the site. The quartz sand is used in hydraulic fracking, and it can be a dangerous product. New Town residents say Wildcat is letting the sand pile up, which poses health risks and blocks sewage drains.

"This is the third time we've sent them a letter, we're asking them to clean it up, get it cleaned up or we will," said Bill Oliver, who is on the New Town City Council. "I haven't seen a response yet."

Oliver was actually the site manager at Wildcat until late last year. He says he always kept the site clean.

"Not a complaint, just a statement since I left there, it's just gone downhill," Oliver said. "They don't take care of the road at all."

"We put gates to try to keep people off the road to make sure that it stayed nice."

However, those gates are usually open now, which allows people and cars kick up frac sand.

"If there's standing water or bothering a constituent, because they can't use their property, then they're creating a nuisance and that's why we're taking actions we are," Oliver said.

If the City Council does not receive a response from Wildcat Minerals, members say the city could possibly go ahead and clean up the site and charge the company for the work.

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