Environmental Health and Safety Manager Duane Wilke said he has a vested interest in making sure the Superior Silica sand processing plant in New Auburn keeps the dust down: his 15-year-old daughter. 'I would never do anything to harm the air quality, to harm my own daughter,' he said.
Frances Sayles is cleaning her counters and vacuuming her home more often in an attempt to keep a never-ending stream of sand at bay. But it is not just the cleaning that concerns her. She also worries about her health.
"It bothers me because I have asthma and I have trouble breathing at night, especially," said Sayles, a retired certified nursing assistant. "I'm a very healthy person other than that."
Sayles lives with her husband, Dean, in the village of New Auburn. There are two frac sand processing plants on the edges of the village, which straddles Barron and Chippewa counties. ...