The Price of Sand : Silica Mines, Small Towns, and Money

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  • The silica used in hydraulic fracturing has become a valuable commodity and land with accessible deposits is selling for high prices. New mines promise jobs and economic stimulus for small towns-but they bring environmental, health and safety risks as well as disrupting the peace. This documentary looks at the frac sand mining boom in Minnesota and Wisconsin.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on March 26, 2014.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Frac Sand Boom (2:50) -- Frac Sand Mining (3:25) -- Reactions to Frac Sand Mining (4:15) -- Silica Mining Job Creation (3:04) -- Silica Mining Traffic Issues (3:49) -- Frac Sand Mining Dust Issues (5:48) -- Frac Sand Mining Health Effects (2:50) -- Industrializing Agriculture Land (3:59) -- Devalued Property near Mines (3:55) -- Community Disenfranchisement (5:22) -- Mining Employment Debate (4:18) -- Community Divisions (4:11) -- Mining Control of Local Politics (3:04) -- Circumventing Regulation (1:33) -- Mining Land Grab (2:45) -- Credits: The Price Of Sand: Silica Mines, Small Towns And Money (3:09)
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