Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DNR Pooh-Poohs Need For Stronger Sand Mining Oversight

Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources says today it plans no new regulations to control silica dust released by newly-increased sand mining statewide to serve energy-mining, or "fracking" operations nationally:

The DNR said last week that the number of mines that have been built, or are in the planning stages, has doubled to about 60 in just the past few months.

Silica is not regulated as a hazardous air pollutant under federal law, although some states do regulate it. For Wisconsin to regulate silica under state law, DNR officials said that it would be required to begin a process in three to five years.
I'm sure the enforcement of existing regulations by the Walker/DNR management team - - including Air and Waste Division manager Pat Stevens - -  formerly of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce/the Transportation Builders Association/the Wisconsin Builders Association, and his boss, Marr Moroney, the DNR Deputy Secretary and former leader of the Milwaukee-area home builders group - - means the situation is nothing to sneeze at.

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