Air Quality Monitors test silica sand transport in Winona - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Air Quality Monitors test silica sand transport in Winona

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WINONA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The environmental impact of frac sand mining will be put to the test in Winona.

Air quality monitors are testing the air in Winona along the interstate bridge, tracking a truck route that transports silica sand.

It's a year-long project, funded primarily by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to see if transporting silica sand, also known as frac sand, has an impact on the local environment.

The city planner said some questions on air quality remained unanswered after a silica sand moratorium that ended in March 2013.

The project costs the MPCA $60,000.

The city is paying $1,000 for electricity.

"Are we meeting federal guidelines for air quality? Basically, what does it look like and what's going on in terms of air quality. And without really monitoring the air, that's kinda difficult to figure out," said Carlos Espinosa, assistant Winona city planner.

The first real data will be transmitted Friday, according to Espinosa.

All data from the monitors will be made public.

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