Last Monday the New York Times ran an op-ed piece critical of industrial sand mining in the upper Midwest, The Sand Mines That Ruin Farmland. The op-ed was written by Nancy Loeb, an assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and expressed the opinion that sand mining is an undesirable use of the land in the Midwest. Ms. Loeb's opinion is predicated on a lack of understanding of the industry and the regulations sand producers follow to ensure socially and environmentally responsible development.
NISA President, Mark Ellis, along with the Chairman of the NISA Communications Task Force, John Ulizio and Joan Gartlan, a communications consultant NISA use during the silica litigation crisis, crafted a letter to the editor as a response. The New York Times ran NISA's letter yesterday. Crafting a NISA response presented some challenges. Ms. Loeb's op-ed ran in excess of 900 words. However, letters to the editor of the New York Times typically are limited to just 150-175 words. NISA's letter ran slightly over 200 words as published. To read NISA's Letter, Sand Mining Compliance click here.
In addition to NISA's distribution, we collaborated with the American Petroleum Institute (API) to disseminate the letter to the editor. API offered to distribute the letter via its Energy from Shale Twitter account. It also has shared it with other third parties, as well. Ms. Loeb's op-ed is precisely the type of misinformation NISA continues to correct in the ongoing public debate over the impacts of the industry on our communities.