DNR names new frac sand expert - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR names new frac sand expert


MADISON (Press Release) – With an eye toward continuity, the Department of Natural Resources this week named Deb Dix as the agency's new lead on industrial or "frac" sand issues. 

Dix will serve as the initial point of contact on frac sand for public, private, legislative and media inquiries on the DNR's regulatory authorities and interaction with the industrial sand sector.  She will be based in the DNR's Wisconsin Rapids office and is serving on an interim basis while the department moves forward with filling the position. 

Dix takes over for Tom Woletz, the agency's long-time frac sand expert, who retired in June.  "I have worked with Deb Dix for over 20 years and I believe she is a great fit for this appointment," said Woletz.  "She has worked in many of the department's environmental programs and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this assignment, including working directly in the nonmetallic mining reclamation program.  She will do a great job."

Dix most recently worked with the Environmental Enforcement Program.  Her duties included specific frac sand enforcement actions as well as helping coordinate DNR programs related to regulatory oversight of the industry.  In 2012, Dix became the agency's environmental enforcement liaison associated with run-off and mining issues.  In her new interim role, she will have no involvement in enforcement.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to again work with the mining industry and the various levels of government involved with regulating it," said Dix.  "It will be a welcome challenge to utilize my background and skills to assist not only the mining industry in understanding the regulatory requirements, but also help those outside of the regulatory framework to understand the industry and the laws which regulate it."

Dix has also worked on the Nonmetallic Mining Reclamation program in west central Wisconsin, where she assisted with outreach to municipalities and the industry to explain the requirements of the program, helping municipalities with ordinance development and approval and assisting the mining industry to understand the changes.  She first joined the agency in 1990 and has experience with recycling, solid waste and leaking underground storage tank issues.  Prior to the DNR, Dix worked in the environmental consultant arena.

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