Environmental Testing Procedures
At CSP (Canadian Sand & Proppants), we are committed to maintaining the natural resources that make our community so special. To this end, we have implemented testing and monitoring procedures to protect the air and ground water at our plant and mine sites.
Crystalline silica is a dangerous substance, and long-term exposure to it has been shown to cause silicosis, a potentially deadly condition. However, crystalline silica is formed by the crushing of sand grains, most commonly in sandblasting operations. At CSP, we need the sand to maintain its grain structure... any crushing of the sand makes our product unusable. Therefore, we go to great lengths to avoid any creation of the airborne crystalline silica particles in question.
We have multiple plans for controlling emissions at the plant. These include bag-house dust collectors on conveyors, bins, and elevators; paving selected areas of the plant; and using water to control dust on unpaved sections and stockpiles at the plant and mine sites. Records will be kept of all maintenance of the dust collection/suppression equipment.
Our emissions will be monitored using an ambient air quality monitor located on the plant site in conjunction with opacity monitoring on the stacks themselves. Reports from this monitor will be delivered to and analyzed by the DNR.
Employees will periodically wear monitoring devices that will measure their exposure to particulate matter. Reports from these devices are gathered and analyzed by the Mining Health and Safety Administration (MSHA).
CSP's projected water usage is 125 million gallons annually. Most of this water is lost due to evaporation during our washing process. The rest is used in the dust suppression equipment. At the request of the city council we will be using water from the city water supply, as another local business recently upgraded their facility and reduced their annual water usage by 400 million gallons. There will be no hazardous chemical usage at any point in our process. During our scrubbing process, a flocculant is added to the sand and water mixture. This flocculant is an inert polymer which causes the dissolved and suspended fine material (silts, clays, and organics) to bind together. By doing this, we can separate the fines from the wash water and then recycle the water back into the wash process, saving millions of gallons annually.
There is a small wetland at the plant site that will need to be mitigated. We would have preferred to relocate it on our own property, but DNR regulations stated that our soil structure prevented them from being able to authorize such a move. Therefore, we were forced to mitigate them using a mitigation company, who creates wetlands for these types of situations. We actually ended up creating 1.5 times as many acres of wetlands as were previously on our site. The same type of process will be done with a wetland present at our mine site.
To monitor water quality at the mine sites, we will create test wells throughout the mine area. Monitoring of these wells, as well as private wells that border the mine sites, will begin before mine construction (to establish a baseline) and continue for the life of the mine. Testing will be performed quarterly during the first year and annually thereafter. Results will be submitted to the Chippewa County Land Conservation Department.