Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association


2020 Snapshot Review

2020 started off with the industrial sand industry already in a downward market, the pandemic put another layer of complexity on the industry, like many industries.  Oil prices reached record lows this past summer and some sand producers are still shuttered, while other companies have discontinued operations.

The industrial sand market is looking a little better now and we anticipate continual improvement this year. And at WISA, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

WISA is the sole advocate for Wisconsin’s sand industry and for ten years has advocated for common-sense regulation, while championing the outstanding environmental and safety standards of performance.  WISA members are all committed to exceeding legal requirements.

In the past year, we worked with our national counterparts and with the Governor Ever’s office to ensure miners in Wisconsin retained their “essential” designation, this allowing continued operation in support of the energy infrastructure and energy independence for North America.

Those important activities continue, furthermore, in the past year, we have become increasingly involved in research and education on the sand we mine – Northern White Sand (NWS).  We have teamed with companies in neighboring states, who also mine and process this physically tough, chemically pure, rounded grain sand, which is dissimilar to sand mined outside of our part of the Midwest, or anywhere else in the world.

The research continues to analyze if the characteristics of NWS results in better economic outcomes for energy production when compared to Regional Sand.   We initiated a study with an independent third party to research and analyze the results to determine some answers to this question.   The research will continue with future phases as additional data over time is accumulated. The results are encouraging, and we will continue to publicize the findings, which in a nutshell show that NWS increases wellsite productivity, is better for the well, and is often the best decision even when there is nearby, cheaper regional sand.

Please see our study here:  RYSTAD+Energy+Study.pdf (nwsinfo.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com

WISA’s activities are an “open book.”  If you have any questions or concerns relating to Industrial Sand or WISA membership, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.   We hope you are staying safe and healthy and we look forward to a resurgent 2021 and hope to see you this year.

Thomas Young, President                            Thomas Gapinske, Treasurer

Heather Horton, Secretary                          Mark Krumenacher, WISA Friends Representative


WisconsinSand.org is the online home of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association (WISA), an organization formed to promote safe and environmentally responsible sand mining standards, promote a fact-based discussion and create a positive dialogue among the industry, citizens and Wisconsin government officials.

Sand mining has a rich history in Wisconsin that dates back more than a century, in fact, the image of a miner appears on both the Wisconsin state symbol and the state flag. Companies involved in the state’s sand mining industry employ thousands in family-supporting jobs and are making significant multimillion-dollar investments in areas across Wisconsin, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in overall economic impact for the state and local communities.

As leaders of the state’s sand mining industry, WISA is focused on working cooperatively with state and local governments and others to help develop effective and scientifically based safety, health, environmental and land-use standards. Our members follow a mandatory Code of Conduct with strong principles and tough standards that guide the Association’s efforts to be a leader in fostering a healthy, safe and environmentally responsible sand mining industry in Wisconsin. WISA and its members will work to show that there are many positives when taking the right approach to sand mining. With a proper balance between sound operations, adherence to responsible regulations and good relationships, we can operate safely and protect the environment while generating significant economic impact.