Winneshiuek County supervisors have endorsed a grant application that would study the health risks from frac sand mining in this area.
The study would be a joint project of the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee. If the National Institute of Health approves the grant, the money would pay for the entire study, with no local costs assessed to Winneshiek County or the other counties impacted by frac sand mining.
Monday's unanimous endorsement of the study by Winneshiek County supervisors will be considered by the National Institute of Health in its deliberations over whether to fund the study. Supervisor Dean Thompson spoke in favor of the application, saying "We would stand to benefit from a broader understanding of frac sand mining."
If the grant is approved, the study could start as soon as September of this year, with information from the study available by September of 2014. The study calls for taking air samples of particulate matter in the atmosphere near existing frac sand mines in Wisconsin, using a hybrid network of federal reference method samplers and low-cost coarse particle detectors.