ACTION ALERT: Ashland County Zoning meeting seeks public to testify on sulfide mining

On Friday, March 8, 2019 at 9 AM the Ashland County Zoning committee will be meeting to move a new set of sulfide mining ordinances out of committee and on to the full board. Zoning Committee Chair Joe Rose Sr. is asking for the public to step up and testify in favor of the new ordinances. The meeting is being held in the Ashland County Board Room.

Tyler Forks, Penokee Hills, Wisconsin

Background: After Gogebic Taconite (GTac) was driven out of the state in 2015, the Wisconsin legislature, dominated by Republicans, overturned the decades-old “prove it first” Wisconsin sulfide mining law. The old law prevented companies that had a proven record of pollution from doing business in Wisconsin. After that law was overturned, the entire state became vulnerable to possible devastating environmental damages that would be caused by such a mine.

Sulfide mining focuses on copper, gold, silver and other precious metals. According to Save the Boundary Waters:

The sulfide-ore copper mining industry has a disastrous track record. A peer-reviewed report prepared by Earthworks studied fourteen sulfide-ore copper mines representing 89% of current U.S. copper production. Of those fourteen mines, all had experienced some sort of pipeline spill or other accidental release. Thirteen of the fourteen (92%) had experienced water collection and treatment failures that resulted in significant impacts to water quality. The tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia in August 2014 shows the catastrophic potential for such failures (Earthworks 2012).

Read about the possible devastation of sulfide mining here. 

Please come to the Ashland County Board Room and speak up in defense of the water.

Yellow mine waste water from the Gold King Mine is seen in San Juan County, Colorado

ACTION ALERT: Ashland County Public Hearing June 12 on new CAFO ordinances

The Ashland County Land and Conservation Committee will be holding a public hearing from 5 PM – 7 PM Tuesday, June 12 at the Land and Water Conservation Department office at 315 Sanborn Ave, # 100, Ashland, WI 54806.

The purpose of the public hearing is to distribute information and to hear comments regarding the two agricultural ordinances proposed for Ashland County. The ordinances have been developed by the Land Conservation Committee with the assistance of the Ashland County Agricultural Ordinance Advisory Group.

Once they pass out of committee they will be sent to the full Board to vote on.

Please come and speak up in support of these new ordinances. Show Ashland County we are standing united in defense of the water.

For more information, County District 12 Ashland County Supervisor Joe Rose, Sr. at 715.292.7225

ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW

badriverkids

Bad River girls. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

UPDATE: The Water Privatization Bills (AB 554 and SB 432) have moved out of committee and will be headed for a full vote in the Assembly and the Senate. Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO! NO MORE FLINTS!

Find your elected officials Wi Legislature  http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/

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With our hearts in Flint, the world is watching the nightmare of privatized water and corrupt politicians in Michigan. Over 200 of children have been permanently damaged by lead poisoning due in large part to the privatization of the water systems. Now children in other major cities in Michigan are also testing high for blood-lead poisoning.

Now, today, a bill is rapidly moving through the Wisconsin legislature that would make it nearly impossible for We the People to stop the privatization of our water.

Assembly Bill 554 which will create the same privatization of Wisconsin water supplies that led to the Flint disaster, has passed the State Assembly and is in the Senate Workforce Development Committee. That committee is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats, and is poised to pass their version of this legislation, Senate Bill 432.

Some backstory: in 2009, the City of Milwaukee was exploring the possibility of privatizing its municipal water. Here is a contemporary Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal article about it, and a later story from Food and Water Watch after the idea was scuttled. Basically, local residents rose up against the proposal and fought it; the Milwaukee Common Council stopped its study of the proposal.

The current legislation would make it nearly impossible to do what the citizens of Milwaukee did in 2009. Rather than being able to stop privatization while it is still an “idea,” citizens would need to collect signatures and put a referendum on the ballot to stop the process in-progress: time-consuming, expensive, and subject to the special interest money bound up in today’s elections.

According to an aide at the office of Rep. Tyler August(R-Lake Geneva), the proposal’s lead author, another aspect of the bill will allow private entities to “buy into” county-owned water supplies, thereby gaining control over area water. For example, a corporate farm could purchase water rights from the county and gain control over how the local water is used.

Please pass this on to as many people as you can and tell them to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee and express their opposition to SB432.

Tell them NO MORE FLINTS!

Rep. Tyler August (608) 266-1190 Rep.August@legis.wisconsin.gov, sponsor
Senator Roger Roth (Chair) (608) 266-0718 Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Richard Gudex (Vice Chair) (608) 266-5300 Sen.Gudex@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Duey Stroebel (608) 266-7513 Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Julie Lassa (608) 266-3123 Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov

Our very lives depend on it.

nomoreflints

Overpass Light Brigade Photo: Lisa Moline

This weekend the Overpass Light Brigade did a photo shoot to raise awareness about the proposed legislation and asked the public to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee to inform them of citizen opposition to the bill.

Adapted from badscience original article here.

Enbridge posed to triple flow of tar sands under St. Croix River headwaters; May 14 Presentation in Spooner, WI

May 1, 2015

By 2016, a pipeline called Line 61 will carry 50 million gallons of oil per day under the upper St. Croix River and its tributaries the Eau Claire, Totogatic and the Namekagon Rivers.

StCroix360_PipelineIllust_110514-697x438Line 61 carries heavy crude oil from Canada. It is so thick it requires dilution with other chemicals and high temperatures to flow, and it can sink in water. The pipeline was constructed in 2006-2007 with little environmental review or citizen input, and only for 400,000 gallons per day. The current expansion has received almost no public scrutiny.

The St. Croix River Association, in partnership with St. Croix 360 and the Washburn County Lakes and Rivers Association invites the public to learn about Enbridge Energy’s project to triple the flow of oil through the pipeline.

Thursday, May 14th at 7 p.m.

Spooner High School auditorium

801 County Hwy A

Spooner, WI 54801

Speakers will discuss the resources at risk, spill prevention and response, policy and regulations, and efforts elsewhere in Wisconsin to ensure pipeline safety. Enbridge Energy will be represented, as well as river advocates and others involved in the issue. The program will include plenty of time dedicated to questions and discussion.

Background information, a map, and the latest news is available at
www.stcroix360.com/line61/