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

Gov. Walker not opposed to EPA involvement in proposed mine; OK if for science not politics
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

RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander man's love for drumming started in 6th grade.

That passion led him to start making his own drums.

Northland Music Center owner Will Roffers recently started hand-building custom snare drums.

Some of the shells he works with are pre-made, but his "stave" shells are shaped and sanded.

He used to build and race stock cars, so he knew how to weld and mold, but drum making was a bit more challenging.

"Working with wood is tough for me. You cut something wrong and there's not putting it back together ," says Will.

Will eventually wants to hand-build snare drums to sell to the public.

In the meantime, he restores and customizes sets for customers.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The Merrill Police Department need helping finding anyone involved in several acts of vandalism that happened earlier this week.

Brian Schwartz has lived in his home on River Street in Merrill for almost 10 years. His garage, his neighbor's garage, and the public service building down the street were vandalized. Schwartz reported the vandalism to police on Monday. 

Schwartz says this is the first time anyone has vandalized his property.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Tucked away in the southwest corner of Merrill you can find one of only 19 World War One memorials in Wisconsin. 

People from Lincoln County who died during the war are honored there. 
 
Wednesday, a group of volunteers paid their respects to those service men with some soap, water, and hard work. 

"It's a good opportunity to pay back that service," said Church Mutual employee Sheila Severt. 

Church Mutual employees get one day a year to volunteer in the community, Severt wanted to do something to help veterans.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Terri Burl wanted to ask more questions than make comments during Congressman Sean Duffy's town hall in Crandon on Thursday.

"Everybody's in the state of the unknown right now," Burl said.

Burl, a Republican, was thinking of her 26-year-old son in Oshkosh as she asked Duffy (R-Wausau) about health care concerns.  She worries about tax penalties for her uninsured son and the GOP's lack of solid ideas to replace the Affordable Care Act.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - When Debby Glebke's friends were going back to the south to escape the Northwoods winter, they asked her to watch their home.

"It makes me feel good to help people, I just want to make their life easier," said Glebke. 

That favor sparked an idea that's lasted more than 20 years Glebke's business Snow Bird Home Watch.

"I have all this ambition or I have a lot of energy," said Glebke. 

When Glebke's husband died about fourteen years ago she turned her energy into an outlet.

"You know we always learn something from a crisis you always learn something good," said Glebke. 

Glebke also got a lot of firsts out of the situation too.

"It feels good just to own your own business, I've never really been in my own business," said Glebke. 

While creating something of her own she gave her grandchildren a new role model.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Senate judiciary committee is set to vote on four bills that would impose tougher drunken driving penalties.

The Republican proposals would create a five-year minimum prison sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and raise the minimum incarceration period for fifth and sixth offenses from six months to 18 months.

+ Read More

MADISON - It would be a felony to have sex with an animal in Wisconsin under a bill circulating in the Legislature.

Under current law, having sex with an animal is a misdemeanor.

Republican state Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, circulated a bill Thursday to increase the penalty. He referenced a case from the Town of Eaton involving a man who faces misdemeanor charges of animal abuse after an incident in February involving a horse.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here