Mark Krumenacher is a Senior Principal and Senior Vice President of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. based in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Mark has served as Principal, Project Manager and Project Hydrogeologist during the past 27 years with GZA on environmental, geologic, hydrogeologic and engineering projects throughout North America.
He is a Professional Geologist with licensure nationally and in several states and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager. He has managed and conducted geologic, hydrogeologic and, engineering studies, remedial investigations, environmental assessments, pre-acquisition environmental due diligence and hazardous waste management at various properties including surface and underground mines, large industrial, commercial and urban redevelopment projects, Federal Superfund sites and state-lead environmental projects.
He has provided testimony regarding aggregate and industrial mineral mining before State Boards and Senate Committees; State, County, Township and Municipal units of government; NGOs, local environmental groups and Community Advisory Council to address concerns associated with nonmetallic mining. Mark also served on the Minnesota Silica Sand Rule Making Advisory Panel in 2014 and 2015.
Mark is actively involved with the several mining associations; including the National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, National Industrial Sand Association, Industrial Minerals Association-North America, Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, and Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration.
As many as 9,000 non-metallic mines operate in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, approximately one mine per 3,000 residents. They include limestone and granite quarries in addition to sand and gravel mines, providing aggregate for construction, stones for monuments, and sand for glassmaking, foundries, livestock bedding, and oil and natural gas development. These mines represent an enormous amount of economic activity operating without widespread regional impacts on human health or the environment. Industrial silica sand has been mined in the upper Midwest for more than one hundred years.
Until recently these mines operated without widespread public recognition or opposition. But the rapid growth in the number of industrial sand facilities and the sand’s end use for oil and natural gas development have generated new public awareness about this old industry, making this once below-the-radar industry a subject of controversy in certain areas.
Among the primary concerns voiced by residents in areas where industrial sand mining has expanded are worries about the potential impacts of sand mining on the environment, including the potential impact on air and water quality; the economy, and whether sand mining will be a net benefit to the communities and states in which it occurs; on local roads and highways; and on the quality of life in host communities.
Previous installments in this series of studies presented policymakers and the general public with the latest scientific data on the general environmental and economic aspects of industrial sand mining. The third study in the series focused specifically on roadway impacts of mining.
Sand has been mined for industrial processes across the United States for more than a century. Referred to as silica sand or industrial sand, it is used for a variety of essential industrial purposes, including as feedstock for glassmaking, cores for molding metal castings at foundries, metal production, and household and industrial cleaners; construction supplies such as concrete; bedding for livestock; an abrasive in toothpaste; filtering drinking water; and hydraulic fracturing, a technique used in oil and natural gas production.
In recent years, the use of silica sand for hydraulic fracturing using horizontal drilling techniques has been the largest factor driving growth in the industrial sand market. Industrial sand, commonly referred to as “frac sand,” is crucial to the process of recovering oil and natural gas from shale, tight sandstones, and other unconventional rock formations. Growing demand for frac sand has led to an increase in volume and value of industrial sand produced in the United States.