Madison – Wisconsin’s booming sand mining industry is far exceeding expectations for clean air according to newly updated Department of Natural Resources (DNR) data analyzed by Wisconsin’s Chamber of Commerce (WMC). WMC reviewed quality assured DNR data based on 1,225 samples collected from 11 monitored facilities for particulate matter (PM10), the pollutant of concern at sand mining operations, and found:
- Average samples were only 14 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 91% lower than the health-based standard of 150 micrograms per cubic meter set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Not a single sample came close to exceeding EPA’s stringent threshold, and only 4 samples (0.3%) have topped even 50% of that limit.
- The single highest sample concentration reported was still 30% below the limits put in place by EPA to protect human health and welfare, including people in sensitive groups like asthmatics and those with chronic cardiopulmonary diseases.
“The numbers speak for themselves — air quality around sand mines is well within safe limits established by the EPA,” said Eric Bott, WMC Director of Environmental and Energy Policy. “Wisconsin’s sand miners prioritize protecting the air quality of the communities they live in and the data demonstrate that their efforts are working.”
The DNR’s data contradict significant portions of a report released last week by Boston Action Research (BAR) on behalf of some of America’s most radical environmentalist groups. BAR’s study was backed in part by groups committed to ending the availability of affordable domestic energy through bans on hydraulic fracturing, and failed to consider much of the scientifically sound and easily accessible information on air quality around sand mines in Wisconsin.
“When given the option to act based on quality assured scientific data or the complaints of professional agitators from the East Coast, the choice should be clear for Wisconsin regulators and policy makers,” said Bott. “It’s a shame that some folks would rather focus on fear mongering than on touting the environmental progress of Wisconsin’s sand mining industry or our state’s improving air quality generally.”
Click here to review the DNR’s data.
Founded in 1911, WMC is Wisconsin’s largest business advocacy organization representing nearly 4,000 employers statewide.