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Wisconsin Public Service to pay $80,000 fineSubmitted: 08/30/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Wisconsin Public Service to pay $80,000 fine
ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin Public Service will pay $80,000 in air pollution fines.

WPS has the potential to release a lot of pollutants into the air. Companies like that have to have an air pollution control permit from the DNR.

A judge ruled WPS violated the permit for its Rothschild coal fired power plants.

WPS reported to the DNR it released more carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide than the permit allows.

Randy Oswald is an environmental programs manager for WPS. He says the violations happened back in 2008 and 2009, when the company was firing up Weston Coal Power Plant 4.

"It was a brand-new plant with a lot of new systems," Oswald said. "As we were shaking down and getting systems started and tested and operational, there were a few events that were related to getting the systems operating correctly that we exceeded that limits in our permit."

Another violation was related to not understanding permit requirements, but Oswald says the company knows its their responsibility to understand the permit.

"We value our compliance record. The last of these events happened well over three years ago, maybe four years ago," he said. "We haven't had any violations of that permit, even though it's very extensive, since then. Our position is we want to be in compliance, we know it's our obligation to be in compliance with everything in our permit."

WPS's Rothschild plant hasn't had an air pollution violation since 2009.

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MINOCQUA -
You can help the Oneida County Dive Team by grabbing your goggles and swim cap Saturday (June 23) morning.

Swimmers will launch from Torpy Park for the Minocqua Island Swim Challenge.

The race is one mile long, but people can choose to swim just 400 meters, too.

The water temperature will be about 65 degrees during the race.

"A lot of people will wear wet suits and be very comfortable. I have seen plenty of people go without and have no trouble," says Laura Fuhrman.

Money raised from the race will go to Oneida County's dive team.

They are first responders to water rescue calls.

"We just got our dark vision gear last year through fundraisers like this. It helps us be more efficient and safe," says Assistant Dive Team Leader, Michael Fraley.

You still have time to register in person Friday night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Torpy Park.

Click below for more info.

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Tomahawk is still ready for the addition.

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