Dale McGraw: DNR needs to study frac sand
March 04, 2015 7:14 am • Dale R. McGraw Chippewa Falls(1) Comments
I was honored to attend a meeting at the Howard Town Hall on Feb. 24 to hear residents of western Wisconsin share their questions and concerns about frac sand mining.
This meeting was conducted by Midwest Environmental Advocates, a group that has petitioned the state to conduct an analysis about frac sand mining in Wisconsin and, thus far, the state Natural Resources Board has directed the DNR to conduct an analysis.
I was surprised by the testimony given by people who reside in a least four counties in western Wisconsin. Residents reported that mining companies were not complying with conditional use permits, excess sand was flying around near mines, and water was overflowing ponds into creeks and wetlands.
Testimony was also given regarding the health effects of crystalline silica being inhaled. I’m concerned about the reports coming from the Village of New Auburn and its effects on nearby school children. A scientific and environmental study has been long overdue by the DNR. We need to think about what the pollution of air and water will bring to future generations.
When I arrived at the town hall, I quickly noted that there were no chairs or tables for the participants, and shortly learned the furniture had been removed by a fireman in an apparent attempt to disrupt the meeting. Sounds to me like certain people in the town of Howard have no respect for the environment.
The governor of this beautiful state needs to let the DNR operate so it can protect the health and welfare of its citizens.