Wisconsin environmental group urges state to reject Smart Sand application

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponBuzz Up!Google BookmarksRSS Feed
(0 votes, average 0 out of 5)
Cathy-Stepp

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. - PHOTO: DNR

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is calling on the state to reject an application from an out-of-state frac sand mining company that is seeking status as a green company.

The environmental group is calling on Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp, who was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker, to reject the application for "Green Tier" status from Smart Sand, Inc. The Green Tier program was created in 2004 to reward companies for superior environmental performance. To qualify, companies must have a demonstrated commitment to protecting the environment.

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters says Smart Sand doesn't come close to qualifying.

“Not only does Smart Sand not meet the Green Tier criteria, they are guilty of violating air pollution standards already. Awarding them with this special recognition would be nothing less than greenwashing. And that’s not going to sit well with Wisconsin citizens, past Green Tier recipients, or us,” said Anne Sayers, program director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

Nearly 2,000 citizens registered their opposition to the prospect of awarding Green Tier status to the frac sand mining company. The DNR claims it received more comments on this particular Green Tier application than any in the program’s 10-year history. Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters supporters alone generated 1,932 comments. 

Smart Sand, according to environmentalists, has a processing capacity of over a million tons of sand per year on its more than 1,000 acres in Oakdale. In the two years the company has operated in Wisconsin, it has received a notice of violation for failure to comply with state air pollution standards.

“The decision of whether to undermine the integrity of the Green Tier program or not rests in the hands of Gov. Walker appointee, Secretary Stepp. We join thousands of others in asking Secretary Stepp to stop delaying and reject the Smart Sand Green Tier application,” said Sayers.