Saturday, August 2, 2014

To 'Fugitive Dust' In WI Sand Mining, Add Fugitive Enforcement

The other day we told you about a pitch to the WI Department of Natural Resources for official praise and PR recognition by a sand mining company that the agency had already found to have violated environmental rules, including the release of potentially-hazardous  "fugitive dust."

Bad enough that the pollution had been found, but worse the state would consider rewarding the company with the coveted stewardship status - -  but anything is possible in the Walker era of environmental disregard.

Here's yet another example, again from the sand mining sector, of how this administration pretends to be environmentally-friendly while being easy on polluters and more focused on its own partisan, political  goals.

Shortly after Walker made one of his promotional stops at a sand mine and blathered on about the good job environmental stewardship work the company was doing - - a dopey talking point and laughable contradiction, given what sand mining does to the land, water and air - - the Wisconsin Attorney General quietly completed a civil settlement with the company - - including a solid fine - -  over its environmental violations.

Hat tip to Anne Sayers of Wisconsin League of Conservation voters for pitting the AG's muted reaction in context: 
Records show the DNR has initiated 22 enforcement cases against sand companies since March 2012.
Of those, four cases were eventually referred to the Justice Department. All companies agreed to pay forfeitures. The Justice Department issued news releases and provided court documents in the other three cases.
Sayers wondered whether Walker's and Van Hollen's offices were concerned that, in an election year, news of Hi-Crush's problems and Walker's appearance would later be exploited by critics, so the Justice Department held off on issuing a statement...
"Walker extols the virtues of polluting companies while hiding the fact that the problems they're creating are harming the health and property values of citizens of communities and hurting small business," Sayers said.

Wisconsin is open for business and political manipulation at the expense of clean air, water and government.


Anonymous said...

Frac sand mining will take off in US and globally -- most of the public hasn't heard of the new "monster fracking":

Above report shows --this means more rail service.

Do you mind suggestions, James? With your background and connections at mjs & msm, you could do more with this report (and its sourcing/resourcing):

What Wisconsin Supreme Court Approval of Voter ID Means

WATCO and koch industries -- both privately held out of Wichita KS -- are tightly intertwined (explained in link above).

No one benefits more from public subsidies to create a frac sand rail hub than koch -- especially if they get kickbacks from WATCO or have a direct financial tie.

May I humbly suggest a sharp journalist investigate:

1. validity of Bill Gardner's operating agreements after this serial criminal repeatedly used WSOR to launder cash -- did he actually have the right to transfer these agreements over the 2011 Xmas holidays on a fast-track STB process?

2. Can The 400 Trail be returned to a rail corridor (the purpose of Rails-to-Trails was not to create bike paths -- it was to preserve rail corridors for future development. I have that directly from one of the program's creators -- Sen. Fred Risser.

3. Does the enacted legislation to sell state assets on no-bid sales mean that walker could circumvent any obstructions to reverting The 400 Trail back to a rail corridor right up the spine of Wisconsin's unique and valuable silica sand formations?

This is a major divide-and-conquer. Once frac sand mining takes off around Reedsburg -- eventually other property owners have no choice but to sell to sand mining interests

1. Property values around the sand mining will plummet -- this is an extremely destructive process

2. Quality of life will quickly erode -- ask anyone living near a frac sand operation now.

3. Only mining interests will want the adjacent properties.

While We the People (Dane County) and previously VOICES newspaper covered this -- the story is important enough for professional journalists to take on (FWIW: Dan Bice turned this down)

Right now, there is not a bigger story in Wisconsin.

scott walker turns down free money because he refuses to let humans travel comfortably by rail, but walker will spend tens-of-millions of your tax dollars to subsidize rail transit of DIRT!

And this is what Badger State Citizens are to scott walker and the out-of-state multinational interests he represents -- we are less-than dirt to him.

Anonymous said...


Error in my post above -- USAGE of frac sand, FRACKING, not mining, will take off across US and globe.

And the sand will be mined in WISCONSIN! No other proppant is better, no other is so readily available, and scott walker will subsidize its extraction and rail transportation.

Who is he doing this for?


The first sentence in my comment above is a miskey -- the frac sand will come from the Badger State and be shipped globally until the formations are exhausted.

Estimates are 20 years -- but those following this story believe it will be largely depleted in 10.

I don't know if you can edit that to avoid confusion, James, or if it is better to just post this so people don't misunderstand.

Wisconsin is ground zero for frac sand mining and everything that comes with it.

Anonymous said...

Dang -- also posted wrong link -- must be a bad day:

Frac Sand Pay-to-Play Complete? Koch Industries Benefits

Now we know why koch was so interested in taking over Wisconsin.

If you can edit the above comment, that would be great, otherwise -- I humbly apologize and hope you will post the 2 corrections I've submitted for the comment I made above.