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News From 91.3 KUWS
Asbestos mining concerns may lead to county ban/The leaves
Ashland County may vote to ban the use of explosives if it disturbs asbestos in rock formations. That includes at the proposed iron ore mine site in the Penokee Range. Mike Simonson reports.
Pete Russo says he’s getting lots of calls from concerned citizens. The Ashland County Board Chairman says they’re worried about asbestos and mesothelioma, a fatal lung cancer caused by airborne asbestos fibers.
Recently reports surfaced by a scientist and the Department of Natural Resources that asbestos fibers are in at least part of the ore body that Gogebic Taconite hopes to mine. The DNR says they need more information before they know if that ore body is dangerous, while Northland College Geoscience Professor Tom Fitz calls the asbestos lethal.
Russo’s called a special meeting of the Mining Impact Committee Wednesday, and will hear testimony from Fitz and the DNR. Then, he says they’ll consider an ordinance which would ban using explosives on asbestos rock.
“What I’m saying is this: If you’re going to blast, if you do, you better have a way of capturing that asbestos somehow or another so it does not get into the air around here and the air quality gets ruined. I don’t know how that’s going to happen. We’ve got to protect our citizens in Ashland County.”
But GTAC spokesman Bob Seitz says a county ordinance isn’t needed. He says there are protections in place when a company mines an area that has asbestos deposits.
"What we would have to do is demonstrate the likelihood of running into it, and then demonstrate what we would do for safety precautions for the public and for workers. If we can’t be safe that way, we don’t get a permit.”
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and OSHA have asbestos exposure guidelines, but are not available for comment because of the partial federal government shutdown.
Looks like this weekend will be peak or even past peak for fall colors in areas of northern Wisconsin.
Pattison Park in Douglas County says things are peaking there calling it fantastic fall scenery with hiking trails open and in good condition.
Brule River State Forest is just past its color peak but the DNR says it’s worth your while to check it, that the leaves are still spectacular. There’s also that once-a-year scent of autumn as leaves on the ground begin to decompose.
Sawyer County says the leaves took a beating this week with wind and rain, so some of the trees are already bare. Frost has turned the ferns brown too.
In Burnett County, the DNR says autumn colors are still excellent and the leaf cover in the woods is still heavy.Previous KUWS Articles:
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