Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit environmental law center that works for healthy water, air, land and government for this generation and the next. We believe that every citizen has the potential to make a difference.

menu
Home » Issues & Actions » Actions » Petition to EPA to object to Wisconsin Proppants, LLC air permit

Petition to EPA to object to Wisconsin Proppants, LLC air permit

— Jackson County, WI mining operation air pollution permit proposed without Clean Air Act compliance regarding estimating, monitoring or controlling fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Latest News

This petition request is the latest action calling upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to object to DNR-approved permits for frac sand mining facilities that do not estimate, monitor or control fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from mechanical processes associated with silica sand mining.. Read more on our Superior Silica Sands air permit action page.

Case Summary

On behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a petition on January 25, 2017 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting formal objection to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' air pollution permit for a frac sand mining operation’s proposed expansion in Jackson County.

The request asks for the EPA’s objection to the permit because the DNR would allow the Wisconsin Proppants, LLC frac sand mine and processing plant to expand production without estimating, monitoring, or controlling fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from mechanical processes. As written, the DNR air permit violates the Clean Air Act and may allow the mining operation to violate National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Last year the DNR issued a document titled “Air Quality Review of Industrial PM2.5 Emissions from Stationary Sources In Wisconsin,” that outlined how the agency would permit industrial activities that emit fine particulate matter. Prior to that the EPA put the DNR on notice on August 26, 2015 that the guidance document didn’t follow the Clean Air Act. The EPA said the DNR should evaluate activities that create PM2.5 air quality impacts on a case-by-case basis and not broadly exempt industrial activity – like frac sand mining – from requirements to assess, monitor and control air quality impacts. 

The Ho-Chunk Nation and Sierra Club’s request for the EPA’s formal objection is a necessary step after the DNR had ample notice from the EPA through both comments on the DNR’s PM2.5 policies in 2015 and concerns expressed about the particular pollution permit earlier this year. If approved as currently drafted, the Wisconsin Proppants, LLC permit will violate the Clean Air Act.

This petition request similar action by the EPA to object to another DNR-approved permit for a frac sand mining facility in Barron County. Read more on our Superior Silica Sands air permit action page.