Wisconsin Sand Mining Country Ranked First for Clean Air Quality

MADISON – Two northwestern Wisconsin communities that are near industrial sand mining operations have been ranked among the cleanest for air quality in the nation, reports the American Lung Association (ALA).

The lung association recently released a study, State of the Air 2013, listing the Eau Claire-Menomonie metropolitan area as “ranked first for cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for 24-hour particle pollution.” In order to achieve such a high rating, the ALA required the Eau Claire area to demonstrate zero exceedances of strict environmental standards for three straight years.

“Western Wisconsin should be pleased to earn such high praise for its air quality from the American Lung Association,” said Eric Bott, Director or Environmental and Energy Policy for WMC. “The ALA study applies a methodology that is far more stringent than even that used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.”

The ALA study focused on fine particulate matter pollution known as PM2.5. Previously released data specific to sand mining operations in Western Wisconsin and published on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website also demonstrates that sand mines are easily meeting air quality standards for larger particulate matter or PM10.

“Eau Claire being ranked among the cleanest areas in the country by the American Lung Association further refutes unsubstantiated allegations by activist groups that sand mines are significant sources of fine particulate air pollution,” said Bott. “Time and again, the data show that sand mines aren’t major sources of air pollution.”

Click here for the ALA’s city ranking for Eau Claire-Menomonie.

Click here for the DNR’s interactive map of air quality at Wisconsin sand mines.

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

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