Monday, October 31, 2016

WI DNR slothful pace on sand mining safety

Under pressure from residents and environmental groups, the 'chamber of commerce mentality' managers like agency Secretary and former developer Cathy Stepp whom Gov. Walker installed atop the Department of Natural Resources are finally looking into metallic water pollution linked to frac sand mining.
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
The agency was reluctant to begin addressing frac sand issues broadly - - because that's how a 'chamber of commerce mentality' department works, as I've noted often.

So before you get too giddy over the DNR's planned activity, read further into the story and discover that the agency's response comes three years after the discovery of heavy metal contamination in water near the mining, and the projection that further actions might wait until 2021.

Do not be surprised, because:

A) The DNR said it knew its frac sand mining regulation was inadequate but kept on issuing new mining permits. True story.

B)  Its disregard was evident even earlier. Nearly five years ago, the DNR's then-Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney - - now a special assistant to Gov. Walker on his personal staff - - announced there would be no regulation initiative aimed at the rapidly-growing frac sand industry:

MADISON - Wisconsin's DNR has re-affirmed that it will not draft new regulations for the frac-sand mines that are popping up mainly in the western half of the state.  
An official told the Natural Resources Board last week that new rules were not needed - and current regulations were adequate. Now, Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney gave the same reply to a group of residents who petitioned his agency in November for regulations on dust particles. 
I have cited this disclosure several times, and included it in a longer piece about the DNR's laissez-faire approach to multiple sand mining issues.

Call it 'fugitive enforcement.'

And when the foot-dragging and industry favoritism gets shamefully toxic, the state is willing to be sued, costing you and me more money.

That's the way a 'chamber of commerce mentality' DNR works. 


Anonymous said...

As far as inside the DNR, Cathy has been MIA for many months now, not a peep on anything. And why not? She and Walker dont want real action on any environmental issue. They make sure that wont happen, and it wont.

Anonymous said...

Kathy is out campaigning for Trump. She introduced him in Green Bay.