MADISON - Gogebic Taconite took another step towards mining in Northern Wisconsin. The company submitted a new application for exploratory drilling in the Penokee range.
In 2011 the DNR gave Gogebic Taconite permission to explore the region and test-drill in several sites, but the company withdrew their plans.
Now the DNR is required by law to approve or reject Gogebic's new request within 10 days. The request for exploratory drilling they submitted Wednesday is NOT to mine the area, but to check the ground for certain minerals.
Ann Coakley, the director of the DNRs Waste & Materials Management program explains: "We look at what kind of minerals will be in the water, sediments in the water and make sure that it's clean enough after running through their waste water system that it can actually be put back into the environment.”
Before Gogebic Taconite can submit an application to MINE the area, they have to show how they can do it without negatively affecting the environment.
In the exploration they would pull 2-inch cores out of the ground in 13 sites. Some of those test cores come from 300 to 1,000 feet underground. They're looking to see what kind of minerals they'd have to clean up from the "waste rock" they pull out in search of the iron-rich ore.
"It's really up to the applicant to show us that they can have a mine and manage it in a way such that they won't have these negative impacts on the environment," says Coakley.
Coakley says it is possible to manage a mine effectively and safely, but each mining site is different, so each needs to be reviewed carefully.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
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