Monday, January 13, 2014

Feds Warned Walker, Others In 2011 Against Fast-Track Mine Law

It was news three weeks ago that the US Army Corps of Engineers told the Wisconsin DNR in writing that the state's new iron mining law - - written to fast-track a proposed Ashland-area open-pit iron mine - - was incompatible with federal law and thus likely to delay both agencies' complex, mandatory reviews.

But did you know that in August, 2011, the same federal agency warned all Wisconsin parties, from Scott Walker on down, that making substantial changes to state mining law review processes would likely lead to delays - -  measured in years.

In other words, the message in the recent letter was laid out 29 months ago - - yet Wisconsin officials let the mining company help write the law that Walker and GOP legislators ram-rodded to approval, and which now poses obstacles and added costs to the project.

In fact, the 2011 letter and the December, 2013 letter were signed by the same Corps of Engineer regulatory chief in the agency's St. Paul, MN office.

Here is a link to the full 2011 letter and its attachments, which was sent to Scott Walker's chief of staff and copied to legislators involved in the bill's drafting and to DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

And it is under Stepp where scientists are fighting the good fight to make sure agency research and advocacy meet all legal and public-interest standards.


Anonymous said...

Were they hoping president Romney would hobble the EPA to be similar to the DNR? Too bad, so sad...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not only getting attention to this, but keeping up with it. Walkers DNR is now over-run by buffoons. So, we must keep hoping that the Federal Laws and the Tribal Laws will save some of our environment and animal furs before this administration wipes it out for greed. It's a money pit for them (land, water and animals) They get pure profit while everyone is not looking.