Air testing before sand station is built in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection plans to monitoring air before a D&I Silica’s sand transfer site is built in Wyoming County.

The proposed D&I Silica sand transfer site has divided many people in the Tunkhannock area.

The sand transfer station would help companies involved in the natural gas industry because sand is used in the fracking process and it often has to be trucked into gas well pad sites.

Some people are concerned about what the health implications of the facility will be so state officials have offered to step-in and help.

A meterology tower was set-up Thursday near the intersection of Routes 6 & 92 in Tunkhannock Township.

For the next eight to ten months, the Department of Environmental Protection plans to record weather conditions, including wind direction, temperature and humidity, before the sand transfer site is built.

“We’re going to get baseline air quality testing, air monitoring before the silica sand operation goes in and while it is operating. It’s something we’ll be able to determine what happens when sand moves through the atmosphere, moves through the wind,” DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said.

The DEP monitoring planned in the Tunkhannock-area will be a first in the area and officials say when the transfer station is up-and-running it will hopefully alleviate people’s concerns.

“If we found some type of deviation from regular air quality standards here we would bring it up. We would let people know,” Connolly said.

Wyoming County commissioners originally had a proposal from an independent company to also do air monitoring but late last year, in somewhat of a compromise, decided that DEP should do its study and the independent company will serve as a consultant.


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