Why did the recently released Health Impact Assessment ignore critical data?
The Institute for Wisconsin’s Health’s (IWH) lead researcher, Audrey Boerner, claims that strict criteria, such as publishing in a peer reviewed journal, were used in the selection of studies used.
Noticeably missing was Dr. Crispin Pierce’s 2015 peer reviewed study on the smallest and most dangerous silica particles. Why was only information on the larger particles included?
Dr. Pierce’s study of the smaller (PM2.5) particles found that “Five of the six samples had PM2.5 levels higher than corresponding DNR or MPCA regional background levels.” And while it is known that these small particles can travel for miles, there are no studies that take into account cumulative impacts of having several mines nearby.
In fact, because of the extremely limited number of published studies and lack of monitoring data, the assertion that it is “unlikely” that there will be health impacts from air issues is scientifically irresponsible and cannot be justified.
We ask that our concerns and all the science be taken into account when projecting the impacts of this new industry on our communities. We hope that this study is not used to silence dissent, limit local control, or prevent important further study as we grapple to quantify the costs on our communities.
This letter appears in the March 31 Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise.