Two new full-time staff members would work on air-quality permitting, compliance and monitoring at 54 frac sand mining and processing sites across the state.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has included in its biennial budget a request for two new full-time staff members to work on air-quality permitting, compliance and monitoring at 54 frac sand mining and processing sites across the state, according to the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.
The DNR’s budget request stated, “the Department’s Air Management program has insufficient funding and resources to provide complete air pollution control operation permit issuance, compliance assistance and assurance for the sand mining industry.”
In an Oct. 2 news release announcing the budget request, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said the agency was committed to protecting public health and natural resources in the state.
The two staff members would work to develop air monitoring methods, conduct air monitoring studies and create air quality standards for respirable crystalline silica that enters the air during the frac sand mining process.
DNR spokesman William Cosh said the new staff members would need experience in air quality monitoring, compliance and enforcement. The two positions would cost the state $223,400 each year for the next two years.
The new positions will be filled by fall 2013 if they are part of the budget signed into law.