Public Lab Research note

Frac Sand Tools for Action: Event report out

by stevie , gretchengehrke | August 14, 2015 18:05 14 Aug 18:05 | #12142 | #12142

This post is a write up of the Frac Sand Tools for Action Event that was hosted at the Raw Deal in Menomonie, WI on August 4th, 2015.

During the event we went over:

1) What brought us to this point, a follow up on the DustHack event from October 2014. .
2) A review of relevant policies.
3) Updates to the low cost dust sensor project.
4) Introduction to low cost water sensing tools.
5) A discussion of advocacy approaches to the frac sand issue.


Advocacy Strategies

We spent some time identifying what advocacy strategies have been successful facing the frac sand issue in the past, and ideas for new advocacy approaches in the future. working to strategize on the best approaches we should take, we voted to sort out how easy and effective each approach would be. Below is a table of what we came up with:

Level of Difficulty Level of Effectiveness Advocacy Strategy
Medium Effective Get people who support our cause on commissions and boards
Medium Effective Low cost monitors to engage the public and put pressure on the company for more oversight
Easy Might be effective Write letters to legislators and town board members
Medium Effective Support anti-hydraulic fracturing movement and everyone affected by the supply chain
Medium Effective Multi-pronged approach- economic impacts of road use, impacts on tourism etc.
Easy Effective Aerial images of changing landscape
Easy Effective Images of runoff in streams
Hard Might be effective Leverage peer-pressure at county level for counties that are less inclined to test or enforce
Easy Effective High profile contaminant highlighting
Medium Effective Produce white papers with accredited labs to give authority to findings
Medium Effective Get plain english briefs about rules, regulations and relevant scientific findings to empower citizens
Hard Effective Political advocacy
Medium Effective Work with open minded media contacts

Next steps identified from this event in moving forward include:

Follow up on Easy/Effective strategies

  • @mathew and @donblair will continue their work on low cost dust and water sensors with the aim of: A dust sensor that can be used to raise awareness in the community and bring attention to the company for more over site. A water sensor that detects changes in turbidity or conductivity will be developed that will indicate when photos should be taken to record runoff events.
  • @gretchengehrke will look into making review papers that are easy to read, use and understand.
  • @gretchengehrke and @pat will work with local officials to develop a protocol for collecting photographic data on runoff events which includes the information that needs to be gathered and who it should go to.
  • @mathew will work with a Public Lab Organizer to develop a training or materials for people to gather existing aerial images of mining sites from open government databases.
  • @stevie will share out information on Public Lab's methods of aerial mapping with the Midwest google group.
  • @pat will continue her efforts in writing letters to legislators and town board members and everyone will encourage their constituents to do so.
  • Everyone will think further about the advocacy strategies outlined and those that could be added to this list and followed up on.

Comment below on other event follow ups!


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