Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits DNR’s Regulatory Authority under the Public Trust Doctrine

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently issued a decision limiting the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) regulatory authority under the public trust doctrine. The case is Rock-Koshkonong Lake District v. DNR, 2013 WI 74. The Supreme Court held that the DNR improperly relied upon the public trust doctrine for its authority to regulate non-navigable land or […]

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Pres. Obama Unveils Climate Change Plan

Pres. Obama has laid out a sweeping new climate change plan. The plan, which would cut carbon emissions in the United States and encourage other countries to do so as well, bypasses Congress, opting to achieve the president’s policy goals via executive action. Video of Pres. Obama’s remarks on his plan. Click here for the […]

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Finance Committee Votes on Controversial Issues

As the finance committee wades deeper into the budget mire, the issues become more complex and controversial. On Tuesday, JFC voted, mostly on party lines, on proposals related to public employee benefits, environmental fees, and food share. Double Dipping JFC voted to slightly change the governor’s proposal to limit the ability of retired public employees […]

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Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Acts on Mercury

At its May 21 meeting, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board voted to modify the state mercury rule to begin second phase emissions reductions on April 16, 2016, rather than the current January 1, 2015 compliance date. This change is necessary to ensure Wisconsin EGUs are not forced to comply with two sets of controls on […]

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EPA Accepting Comments on Stormwater Proposal

The EPA has formally proposed revisions to its effluent guidelines for stormwater discharges from construction and development point sources. The proposed rule would make several revisions to the non-numeric requirements of the existing rule, as well as withdraw the numeric discharge standards. These changes reflect the terms of a settlement agreement between EPA and the […]

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Analyzing the Impacts of Industrial Sand

The April 2013 issue of Wisconsin Interest, the magazine published by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, has an article making an economic and environmental argument in favor of frac sand mining. The article, “Mining Success,” also discusses the impact the sand industry has had on local governing boards.

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Governor Walker Signs Historic Mining Reform Bill

Gov. Walker has signed into law Senate Bill 1, which streamlines the permitting process for safe and environmentally sound iron mining. Along with signing the bill, Governor Walker released the following statement: Wisconsin’s seal and the state flag both depict mining in our great state. In light of our mining tradition, I’m thrilled to sign […]

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Mining Bill Passes Legislature

This evening, after 9.5 hours of debate, the Wisconsin Assembly voted 58-39 to approve a comprehensive iron mining bill, which, when signed by the Governor, will usher in a mining renaissance in Wisconsin. SB1 would create new statutes to govern ferrous (iron) mining, which is currently regulated in the same manner as non-ferrous (non-iron minerals […]

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Mining Bill on the Assembly Floor Today

The mining bill, SB1, is being debated on the Assembly floor today. The bill is expected to pass this evening, after the 9.5 hours of scheduled debate expires. This is the last legislative step in the lawmaking process as the Senate passed the bill on February 27. Assembly approval would send the bill to Gov. Walker […]

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Mining Bills Headed to Joint Finance Committee

On February 6 the Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue and the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining both met to amend the mining bill, AB1/SB1, and move it forward in the legislative process. Numerous amendments were made to the bill in response to concerns raised during hearings on AB1/SB1 and […]

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