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Letter: WISC mines are committed to exceeding all regulations, manager says

TO THE EDITOR: This is in response to the Feb. 6 letter about sand mining in the Town of Oak Grove.

As a good corporate citizen and good neighbor in Wisconsin for more than 15 years, the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company appreciates the opportunity to discuss this topic by reviewing the facts.

Wisconsin sand mining is strictly regulated by federal, state and county agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These regulations cover air and water quality, water quantity and occupational safety.

The EPA and DNR have concluded when professional mining companies, such as WISC, meet or exceed regulations, crystalline silica--one of the most common minerals on the earth's surface--is not a threat to public health.

The EPA has determined 99 percent of crystalline silica emissions are generated by paved and unpaved roads, construction, agriculture and wind erosion. Just one percent is generated by mines and quarries.

The WISC mines are committed to exceeding all regulations. The health and safety of our employees and neighbors are our number one priority. Because we maintain a safer environment for our employees, we are protecting our neighbors. There has never been a reported non-occupational health affect from respirable crystalline silica environmental exposure in the US.

The authorization to operate a mine in the Town of Oak Grove would generate dozens of local jobs generating millions of dollars to be spent in the local community. The indirect economic impact from mine support services, such as equipment suppliers, as well as community support through charitable contributions and volunteer work, would greatly benefit our community.

We encourage everyone to attend the Town of Oak Grove Town Hall meeting Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m.