I've never seen anything like this. Sen. Tom Tiffany worked directly with mining interests:
Tiffany said he worked on the bill with frac sand industry representatives and quarry operators who are worried about possible over-regulation.
Yes, they were worried about a local communities ability to block them from destroying the area. You've got to see this jaw dropping, balls out giveaway of prime Wisconsin real estate. Tiffany even went as far as calling it the Regulatory Certainty Act. Really?
Take a deep breath, because you won’t believe this mining sellout. Stunning. Chippewa Herald:
• Prohibit a local zoning ordinance from restricting an existing mine from continuing or expanding on contiguous land.
• Repeal county authority to set water quality or air pollution standards for rock and sand mining and blasting.
• Limit liability for companies whose trucks damage roads, and prevent local governments from forcing mining companies to pay to improve roads it wants to use to haul sand. But officials could require mining companies to guarantee that they would repair damage.
• Roll back counties' ability to require repair of land damaged by a mine. Mining companies could not be required by counties to monitor air or water quality, and counties could no longer set standards higher than state standards.
• Ends most regulation of blasting from local governments and places it in the hands of the state Department of Safety and Professional Services.
• Prohibits local ordinances -- including zoning laws -- from regulating the borrowing or disposal of soil used in state highway projects.
Two Republican state legislators are pushing for a far-reaching new law that would vastly diminish local government power to regulate rock blasting and frac sand mining … the statute would roll back local control of mine reclamation efforts, pollution monitoring and even excavation and disposal of soil and gravel by state highway contractors.How about the Wisconsinites who live in these areas?
Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, said would provide more "certainty" for mining operations.
Tiffany and Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, want a law that would limit the ability of towns to use health and safety ordinances to regulate mining.Speechless? They actually said that. In an incredible understatement, Sen. Kathleen Vinehout said this:
Her district has more frac mines than any other in the state, and local citizens should have a say in how the fallout is handled.
"Should mining companies blast on Sunday? Should they be able to tear up the road driving 400 trucks a day past the school? Should people have local protection so their wells don’t dry up?" Vinehout asked in a statement.
By restricting the types of ordinances and local regulations they can put into to place, this bill essentially hands over control of the health, safety and welfare of the public to a mining company instead of the locally elected officials who are trying to do what is best for their neighbors.