DNR Air Quality Data Gives Sand Mining a Clean Bill of Health

Voters Support Sand Mining Industry, WMC Poll

Madison – The Wisconsin chamber of commerce (WMC) announced new evidence demonstrating a strong record of compliance with air regulations by Wisconsin’s industrial sand mining industry, and new statewide voter polling showing strong support for sand mining.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been posting air quality data online from selected sand mines across Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin sand mining is 10 times cleaner than required under federal regulations. Also, WMC’s poll found nearly 2/3rds of voters support making it easier to site a sand mine.

The DNR research from thirteen mines indicates average concentrations of particulate matter or PM 10, the particles normally emitted from sand mines and plants, of 13.8 micrograms per cubic meter. National health-based standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are set nearly eleven times higher at 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

“DNR’s data demonstrates that the fears regarding air emissions from non-metallic mines in Wisconsin are completely overblown,” said Eric Bott, Director of Environmental and Energy Policy for WMC. “Wisconsin’s non-metallic mines are operating well within the strict confines and regulations applied by U.S. EPA and DNR.”

WMC also released new polling data showing nearly 3-1 support for the sand mining industry in Wisconsin. A survey of 505 likely voters conducted by the Tarrance Group from February 23-25 asked if voters would support streamlining sand mining regulations to create jobs and make America less dependent on overseas oil. Respondents overwhelmingly supported streamlining mining regulations with 64% responding favorably, to just 23% opposed.

“Voters are soundly rejecting the massive campaign to tarnish Wisconsin’s sand mining industry and are instead standing for job creation and American energy independence,” said Bott. “Wisconsin sand mines are playing a vital role in reducing our dependence on overseas oil, lowering energy prices for families, and bringing manufacturers back to the states from abroad.”

Sand from Wisconsin serves as proppant, a key component in the hydraulic fracturing process that is driving U.S. energy independence and leading to lower fuel and electricity prices. Recent studies estimate that hydraulic fracturing has created more than 22,000 Wisconsin jobs and is saving the average family $1,200 a year in reduced energy prices.

For Further Information Contact:
Eric Bott, (608) 258-3400

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