Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Republicans Meant to Pollute with new Mining Bill. Yeah, like Gogebic is doing in Illinois!

Let it be known that Wisconsin Republicans meant to harm the states environment, and getting away with legally in the courts.
WSJ: Mining bill author admits it will cause environmental harmSen. Tom Tiffany also acknowledged that changes were made to the legislation to put the state on stronger legal ground to withstand such a challenge. “If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted. We are simply being honest,” Tiffany says. “Changing the word 'unnecessary' to 'necessary' lets the judge know it was the Legislature’s intent that there will be some adverse impacts.”
Tiffany made the admission after being asked by the Cap Times how ...  the mining bill ... specifically changes the wording of existing state permitting law from “significant adverse affects (to wetlands) are presumed to be unnecessary” to “significant adverse affects are presumed to be necessary.”

In a legal context, the wording change proves lawmakers knowingly passed a bill that they accepted would cause some harm to the environment, Tiffany adds, making it more difficult for a lawsuit to be successful on the grounds that a mining permit caused harm to the environment. The admission by Tiffany is the first time a Republican has said the bill was written with the aim of warding off potential legal challenges.

“My jaw is dropping right now,” responded Erin O’Brien, the wetland policy director with the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.
But will Gogebic Taconite pollute? Well, just look to Illinois:
jsonline: An Illinois coal mine owned by the same investor who is trying to develop an iron ore mine in Wisconsin has come under fire by Illinois' pollution control agency for failing to adequately address long-standing groundwater problems. Macoupin Energy is dragging its feet with the cleanup at the Shay 1 mine in Carlinville, Ill., according to government documents. The agency said it plans to refer the case to the Illinois attorney general.

On Dec. 12, 2012, the state EPA told Foresight the company had failed to adequately comply with a voluntary plan to clean up pollutants in groundwater at the mine, agency documents show. The Illinois EPA says the company hasn't worked fast enough and must take action because pollutants in the groundwater are spreading and have been detected outside the mine's property. 
When will the EPA understand we are no longer allowed to be so rude to corporate authority: 
Michael Beyer, chief executive officer of Foresight, wrote "We are surprised and frankly angered to have received this notice" (All) together, they have violated effluent standards in their wastewater permit 53 times over the past three years, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency records.