From: Jeff Falk
Fountain City, Wis.
The information about Wisconsin air quality monitoring studies in the Post of March 27 was slightly mistaken. There are studies at some frac sand facilities in Wisconsin. However these are not under the supervision of the DNR. They are industry sponsored and paid for crystalline silica monitoring efforts. The Wisconsin DNR did review and comment on the protocols but that was all.
Although crystalline silica concentrations are of public health import, they are not the only contributors to poor air quality. Monitoring for fine and ultra-fine particulate matter in general is as important if not even more important. This is not being done in these industry sponsored efforts. So the relevance of these studies to Winona is open to question.
Delaying monitoring in Winona while waiting for the results of these Wisconsin studies assumes monitoring is only of import in reference to crystalline silica. That is simply not the case.
Winona Assistant City Planner Carlos Espinosa, who said information gathered from air monitoring currently in place at Wisconsin sand facilities could be helpful as the city of Winona works to craft its own air monitoring requirements for mines. Espinosa mentioned these monitoring efforts were “led” by the Wisconsin DNR.
Winona Planning Commission members made several comments about waiting for the state of Minnesota to hand down potential air quality monitoring standards.