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Posts Tagged ‘silica’

A Change We Didn’t See Coming: Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Mining in Wisconsin

Guest Bogger

Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology
Dept. of Geology, Lawrence University

Appleton, WI

If someone had told me 10 years ago that the rural landscape just west of my home in Appleton would be stripped down and shipped to states throughout the country, I never would have believed it. In fact, no one here in Wisconsin could have imagined that there would ever be much industrial demand for the honey-colored Cambrian sandstones that crop out in a wide swath across the middle of the state. There were a few quarries that supplied sand for foundry molds, but since foundries can reuse sand many times, these local operations had little effect on the landscape. Wisconsin’s sandstones had only two major ‘uses’: acting as groundwater aquifers and defining the shape of the distinctive chimney rocks and castellated mounds of the state’s scenic, never-glaciated Driftless Area. Read More

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White House, Finally, Releases Silica Rule

And now, for some good news. After more than two years of unnecessary delay, the White House Office of Management and Budget has finally allowed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to move forward with a proposed rule to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. I hope this is a sign that the White House will allow federal agencies to develop science-based public protections that advance their public health missions. That said, the development of the silica rule has been a fiasco, and much of the blame for delay lies with the White House.

I have written about this several times, but to recap:

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As White House Dawdles, More Workers Get Sick from Silica Exposure

Nearly two years after receiving a science-based proposal from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to protect workers from exposure to toxic crystalline silica dust, the White House Office of Management and Budget refuses to allow the agency to even seek feedback on its proposal. Public health advocates have put together a petition on the White House website urging the White House to act. The petition is worthy of your signature. Read More

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300+ Experts Urge President Obama to Intervene to Protect Workers from Toxic Dust

Last Valentine’s Day, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration sent a proposed science-based rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review that would protect workers from silica. Regrettably, many months later, the OMB has not acted on the proposal, preventing OSHA from even seeking public input—and public health advocates are getting impatient. Read More

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