Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Walker praises Frac Sand Mining Company for "maintaining clean water, clean land, and clean air," at the same time it was fined for environmental violations.

Scott Walker stuck his foot into his mouth this time, praising a sand mine company that was just fined by the Justice Department for violating regulations. Oops. Not now, in an election year?
jsonline: Two weeks after Gov. Scott Walker visited a frac sand company in western Wisconsin to celebrate an expansion, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen entered a settlement with the company for violating state environmental laws. But unlike three other cases where sand mining companies paid fines for violating state regulations, the Justice Department didn't issue a news release detailing the agreement with Hi-Crush Proppants LLC.

"It certainly raises my eyebrows and it certainly seems like there's politics behind it," said Anne Sayers, program director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. "Walker extols the virtues of polluting companies while hiding the fact that the problems they're creating are harming the health and property values of citizens of communities and hurting small business," Sayers said.
I just love the Justice Departments reason for forgetting this one particular companies violation that won praise from Walker:
Dana Brueck, spokeswoman for Van Hollen, said she has a simple reason for why she didn't issue a release: She didn't have the time.
The reason Walker would like hide this little appearance away? Get a load of this hucksters bark:
The governor praised Hi-Crush for ..."maintaining a positive relationship with the Wisconsin communities surrounding their facilities. We can balance our strong commitment to maintaining clean water, clean land, and clean air with an operation investing in Wisconsin, building on our economy, and creating good, family-supporting jobs."
Oh, there's more too...like constructing high-capacity wells without a permit. Aw shucks: 
In addition to Hi-Crush, Thein Well Co. of Spicer, Minn., paid $16,000 in forfeitures — both for constructing high-capacity wells without approval  … The wells were decommissioned … The DNR has initiated 22 enforcement cases against sand companies since March 2012.

Sayers wondered whether Walker's and Van Hollen's offices were concerned … Walker's appearance would later be exploited by critics, so the Justice Department held off on issuing a statement.

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