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Air-Quality Monitoring May Be Required in Wisconsin

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, a western Wisconsin lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require all frac sand mining operations to install air monitors that measure dust leaving the site.

Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma said there isn’t enough data about what is blowing from frac sand mining sites, so she’s introduced the bill that would require companies to pay for on-site monitoring. Particularly, Vinehout said she and her constituents are concerned about dust particles small enough to get stuck in the lungs.

"There are many constituents who are very concerned about their health, the health of their children," she said.

A second Vinehout bill would direct the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to hire eight new staffers to monitor frac sand sites.

According to the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association, an industry-sponsored study shows there are low levels of harmful dust particles leaving the sites and additional air monitors are not needed.