Loading

65°F

64°F

69°F

65°F

68°F

69°F

72°F

65°F

65°F

72°F

69°F

69°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Gov. Walker not opposed to EPA involvement in proposed mine; OK if for science not politics Submitted: 07/02/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Gov. Scott Walker (R) says he wouldn't oppose involvement by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the state permitting process for a proposed iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills.

Northern Wisconsin's six Chippewa tribes want to go around the state's mining regulation process and turn to the EPA.

The tribes say they can't rely on Wisconsin's regulatory process to protect fish, wildlife, wild rice, or water quality in northern Wisconsin.


The tribe hopes the agency will stop a four mile long proposed iron mine in Iron and Ashland counties.

Walker said at a campaign event in Rhinelander on Wednesday that isn't opposed to EPA as long as their involvement wouldn't be political because he believes the state's mining process would pass any federal inspection.

"It's one of those (things) where we wanted to have a process for safely and environmentally sound mining," Walker said. "We think if the EPA is actually using science based technologies, then ultimately we believe you can both have the operation."

Republicans passed a mining bill signed by Gov. Walker in March 2013 that paved the way for the mining operation. The partisan bill was seen by Democrats as a piece of legislation that weakened environmental safeguards. Republicans argued it cut bureaucratic red tape and simplified the states permitting process.

Gogebic Taconite wants to dig the mine. It would be the largest iron ore mine in North America.

Leaders for the project say it could bring more than 500 permanent jobs to the area that is lagging behind the rest of the state in employment.

According to May unemployment statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Iron County has 11.3 percent unemployment, while Ashland County has an 8.5 percent unemployment rate. Those rank 70th and 71st out of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Menominee County has the state's worst unemployment rate at 15.1 percent.

Governor Walker believes the mine would benefit more than just those counties.

"In the end, for the people particularly in Iron and Ashland County, and also all throughout the state of Wisconsin, who would benefit from both the jobs and the construction, the jobs related to the ongoing operations for many cases are generational," Walker said.

Leaders from Gogebic Taconite and the Wisconsin DNR are working on a multimillion dollar environmental impact study right now. Gogebic Taconite is paying for EIS project.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Trees for Tomorrow held their Forest Fest in Eagle River Saturday. The event hosts many people and companies that make a living from trees.

The UW Stevens Point Timbersports team came out to Forest Fest to show off their skills.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.

Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.

"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."

The Pig in the Pines volunteers had another big announcement to make. The event will be sticking around next year with some changes.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1st at 11:59pm.

Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.

"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1st date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp tag grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.

People may not be thinking about hunting during the summer. DNR workers say the process is very easy for people to apply.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 16-year-old male crashed into an electric pole just east of Rhinelander this morning.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The boat looks like something from a science fiction movie as it creeps across Northwoods lakes at night.

Its long arms jut into the water, sending electrical pulses into the lake.

Under a nearly-full moon on a warm July night, it motors across Sparkling Lake in Vilas County.

"We can actually sneak up on them in the evenings, when it's dark out," says Dr. Noah Lottig, who's driving the boat. "They're up there, they don't see us coming, and we can sneak up on them."

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police have arrested a Wisconsin Rapids man after he allegedly fired his gun at street lights, saying he was protecting the universe from aliens.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Some Northwoods veterans worry that their communities will forget them as time goes on.

But the Montgomery, Plant, Dudley American Legion Post 10 wants to remember one group of U.S. allies from the Vietnam War era: Wausau's Hmong community.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here