Help Stop Frac Sand Trains -

Because of the serious and debilitating illnesses caused by frac sand, and the drastic loss of quality of life in our neighborhoods due to fugitive respirable dust at loading facilities and transport by rail car, rail noise, pollution, sinking property values, and business downturns, please CONTACT THE FEDERAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD and request the STB to DENY APPROVAL to documents now listed on the STB's docket. At the federal level, request that FD_35848_0 and any related cases, waivers and petitions be DENIED APPROVAL, cite health concerns in new studies (as summarized below).

1.Cynthia Brown, Chief, Section of Administration, Office of Proceedings, Surface Transportation Board, 396 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20024, 202-245-0384, 2.Andrea Pope-Matheson, Paralegal Specialist (Brown’s assistant), same address as above, 202-245-0363, 3.Gabe Meyer, Office of Public Assistance, Gov. Affairs and Compliance, Rail Customer & Public Assistance Program, same address as above, 202-245-0150,   At the state level, cite health concerns in new health studies (above),constant train noise, and traffic delays: 1.Mary Penn, WRRTC Administrator,  Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission, 10 S. Court St., PO Box 262, Platteville, WI 53818, 2. Great Sauk Trail Commission, Sauk City Village Hall, 726 Water St., Sauk City, WI 53584 3. Brian Simmert, Sauk County Office of  Conservation, Planning and Zoning, Sauk County West Square Building, 505 Broadway, Baraboo, WI 53913,

4. Sauk County Board, Sauk County West Square Building, Room 140, 505 Broadway, Baraboo, WI 53913, 608-355-3500,;    John Miller 608-356-2444, ;  Nathan Johnson , 608-415-8657,; John Dietz, 608-524-6930,;   Vedro Peter, 608-448-2829,

5. Contact your state senator and assembly representative at:   Please copy your response to ALL the addressees listed AND PLEASE INCLUDE ME Sent to WNPJ by Patricia J. Popple <> and
Linda Meadowcroft < ********************************************************** Background:

Frac Sand Trains--
ALERT:  HEAVY INDUSTRIAL ZONES BEING CREATED AS FRAC SAND RAILS CONTINUE EXPANSION IN THE SW PORTIONS OF WISCONSIN   Maple Bluff neighborhood, historic Middleton, and Shorewood Hills in Madison are in the path of a proposed frac sand rail shipping corridor, the Reedsburg-Madison are Reedsburg, North Freedom, Baraboo, Devils Lake, Lodi, Lodi, and Waunakee.   Wisconsin frac sand mining has increased exponentially over the past five years, to the detriment of the health, safety and welfare of residents in the western counties. Wisconsin sand is shipped to other states and used in frack gas drilling to extract natural gas. . The smallest frac sand particles –2.5PM (parts per million)—are harmful, even deadly, to humans depending on the degree of exposure.  2.5PM dust causes respiratory and heart diseases, strokes, cancer and auto-immune diseases.  Acute Silicosis (a terminal illness) can develop in as little as a few weeks with heavy exposure.  (OSHA/NIOSH and CDC).  Recent research indicates an elevation of 100% in 2.5PM over normal levels at sand plants with regular train and truck activity and an elevation of 200% from frac sand trains in transit. (C. Pierce, UW-EC). Neither the federal government, the state of Wisconsin, nor the frac sand companies monitor the health impacts to communities of the smallest particulates 2.5 PM<) which are the most dangerous to human health.  (google “frac sand, community impacts”) . The Reedsburg-Madison rail line is taxpayer- supported.  It runs from Reedsburg through N. Freedom, Baraboo, Lodi, and Waunakee, and splits east (to Chicago for shipment to PA and OH) and west (to Prairie du Chien for shipment to western fracking states).  On arriving in Madison, the east branch passes through the industrial corridor adjacent to the Maple Bluff neighborhood and the west branch passes through several neighborhoods, including Shorewood Hills and the heart of Middleton.  . A Sauk County official recently described Reedsburg as “a hub for the transport of frac sand across the state.”  The Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission has also encouraged use of the line for frac sand transport. A loading facility in Reedsburg and silica sand rail transport will result in visible amounts of fugitive dust covering nearby residential and business areas in Reedsburg and elevated levels of dust, as well as extremely heavy rail traffic (with trains over 1-mile long, running continuously around the clock) the length of the Reedsburg-Madison line.  Recent studies indicate greatly elevated levels of harmful respirable silica from these actions. . Likely Impacts?  Reedsburg—heavy concentrations of silica dust (2.5PM) visible on nearby parked cars, inside homes and businesses, high incidence of respiratory ailments. Business in the vital destination shopping area may drop off as visitors avoid dangerous levels of 2.5PM.  Nearby property values may plummet 25% or more. Baraboo—Historic Square may be affected by elevated levels of silica dust from passing rail cars.  Properties close to the rail line will decrease in value as health impacts from fugitive dust and continual train noise become the norm. Long traffic delays at railroad crossings. Devil’s Lake—high levels of silica dust from passing rail cars.  Concentrations of dust increasing over time due to the 200 to 400-foot bluffs surrounding the lake.  A WHO report indicates breathing the dust through the mouth (orally, rather than through the nose) increases the possibility of serious disease.  Outdoor activities at Devil’s Lake (swimming, running, hiking, kayaking, etc.) result in oral breathing from most visitors. Long traffic delays (there are two railroad crossings in the park). Maple Bluff, Middleton, Shorewood Hills—elevated levels of respirable silica in shopping areas and nearby neighborhoods, with economic downturn and associated health risks. Nearby residences along the length of the Reedsburg-Madison line will experience perpetually elevated levels of 2.5PM dust, resulting in an increase in related illnesses. .

  The case for "petition of waiver/petition for exemption" finally came up recently on the federal STB docket. Gabriel Meyers (contact information below) is the Public Assistance agent at STB. He has said that the STB is now close to making a decision on this case, but that communications from concerned citizens would be undoubtedly helpful in shaping the course of the final determination.  If you have any questions or wish to press even further on this case, please give him a call.  The volume of communications from the public is very important to a favorable outcome for us!