Thursday, July 7, 2016

Not looking very hard, so DNR doesn't see some airborne mined sand

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, directed by Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality," and intentionally stripped of its science and public-policy mission, has taken a 'nothing-to-see here' approach when assessing health risks posed by the airborne release of very small particles at fast-expanding Wisconsin frac sand mines.
Aerial view of Badger site
Wisconsin DNR photo
Literally nothing to see because the agency chose not to look carefully enough
According to the DNR analysis, the primary concern is airborne particles smaller than 10 microns — known as PM10 — rather than the smaller, more dangerous fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which can lodge deep inside human lungs. The DNR says air quality monitors in western Wisconsin have not detected elevated levels of fine particulates. 
But [Midwest Environmental Advocates] attorney Sarah Geers argues there is no evidence to support that conclusion... 
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has previously expressed concerns with the DNR’s approach to regulating fine particulate matter.
MEA had earlier noted that the DNR was relying on an industry study as the agency prepared its findings.

And this nothing-to-see approach to sand mining operations goes back at least four-and-a-half years, when then-DNR Deputy Secretary Director Matt Moroney - - formerly an attorney representing the metro Milwaukee building industry and now a special assistant on Gov. Scott Walker's staff - - pooh-poohed, despite criticism, the need for enhanced regulations as the frac sand mining boom was underway: 

The Department of Natural Resources said on Tuesday that it doesn’t plan to issue regulations for crystalline silica in the face of a surge in sand mining in western Wisconsin where the potential threat of silica emissions to public health has become a lightning rod of controversy.
Need we say more?
WI DNR boss Stepp wishes staff were like burger flippers 



2 comments:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

As someone said in another post, it is well past time for the EPA to step(p) in. And with public health being endangered, there is a legitimate national interest when.states fail to protect its citizens

swamper said...

Don't get me wrong, I'd never defend MisStepp, but doesn't the statement,

"According to the DNR analysis, the primary concern is airborne particles smaller than 10 microns — known as PM10 — rather than the smaller, more dangerous fine particulate matter (PM2.5)....",

say that they are looking at PM2.5 as well? Bad data, or poor interpretation of data??