Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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


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

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Patricia Tholl from Rodeo Saloon in Tomahawk put her cooking skills toward a good cause Saturday night.
 
"Today I made a bratwurst soup. It's a beef base, your regular onions and carrots and celery," said Tholl.

Tholl is the defending champion of the Empty Bowls soup competition. 

"The prize is a little ladle. It's a lot of fun, I was really happy to have this honor for a whole year," said Tholl.

+ Read More

HUDSON - Authorities in western Wisconsin say a 28-year-old man fatally stabbed his mother and then shot at police during a chase that ended when he killed himself in Minnesota.

+ Read More

Play Video

MOLE LAKE - Native Americans often pass on traditions through storytelling. This week, one tribe local decided to take it a step further.

Kids learned about how their ancestors harvested food in winter more than a century ago.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - These unseasonably warm temps can make it hard for snowmobilers to enjoy the trails. The Wisconsin Snow Report says snowmobile trails in Eagle River are overall in poor condition.

On many of the trails, you'll see more gravel and dirt than actual snow.

"You don't know if the season comes to an end at this point because you never know when Mother Nature will throw a twist at things and give you a 20 inch snowstorm because that can happen. You know, the big lake is still open up north and if the winds come down that way, we could see a lot of Lake Affect snow yet," said Eagle River Sno Eagles Trail Boss Brian Scheid.

+ Read More

Play Video

PLOVER - A 19-year-old man robbed a Plover gas station at gun point Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

According to the Plover Police Department, a white male wearing dark clothing showed a handgun and demanded cash at the Moto Mart Gas Station on Plover road.

+ Read More

Play Video

CONOVER - Crowds gathered in Conover Community Park today for a little winter fun. The Northwoods Blizzard Blast provided winter games for people of all ages. 

Dylan Kleffman spent his Saturday doing some of his favorite winter activities. 

"So far my favorite thing was the pony and the snowshoeing," said seven-year-old Kleffman.  

+ Read More

STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients.  Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.

Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015.  He then moved to Connecticut.  

At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments.  Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here