|Monday, December 9, 2013||Search Our Site|
News From 91.3 KUWS
Bill to limit local control on mining, mystery barrels and leaves
Legislators have drafted a bill to limit local control over regulating non-metallic mines, like frac sand mines. Tegan Wendland reports.
Inder current law, towns and municipalities can set their own regulations, including rules on air and water pollution.
The proposal would strip local governments of their authority over roads and traffic and the use of explosives, as well as monitoring air quality.
Republican Representative Joan Ballweg co-sponsored the bill with Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany.
She says if it passes, it will help industry grow and solve the problem of inconsistent local standards. In some places, like Trempealeau County, moratoriums are in place to prevent new mines. Ballweg says that’s bad for business.
“Let’s put in a process that will help folks have the rules of the game and an industrial sand mine or any other manufacturer knows what that is up front, they can make a decision whether they want to move forward or not.”
Currently, control over different parts of the mining process, from day-to-day operations to long-term reclamation plans, can be divided between many levels of government - federal, state and local.
And according to some, that’s a good thing. State Senator Kathleen Vinehout opposes the new draft bill, saying it’s a threat to democracy.
“This is another example of legislation happening... in the state Capitol that is being driven by out-of-state corporate interests that takes away local people’s ability to protect their health, their safety, and their neighborhood.”
Co-sponsor Tiffany says the bill will be up for a senate hearing on Thursday.
//////////////Mystery barrels work
This year’s removal of the six overpacks containing parts of the 25 Department of Defense barrels went smoothly last month. Red Cliff Environmental Director Melonee Montano says they’re preparing a detailed news release, but confirms they’ve completed this phase of the project.
Last year, 25 barrels were taken from Lake Superior between French River and Knife River. Three barrels had harmless, incinerated grenade parts, but 22 barrels had grenade detonators, which were put in the 85 gallon over-packs that have just been recovered.
//////////////////////////Leaves leaving us
The DNR says far northern Wisconsin is past its peak for leaf colors, but the late autumn colors continue. Brule River State Forest says the tamarack trees are making up for the fading colors and loss of leaves but there’s still good color and rust on oaks and gold on the maples.
The DNR in Burnett and Bayfield Counties says the windy, rainy week has taken a toll over the past few days.
But the bears are trying to bulk up for the winter, spending lots of time eating.
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