"Taconite Tom" Tiffany's latest bad idea!  10.16.13

Thanks to KIm Wright for the "Here are the fingerprints" analysis of Taconite Tom's latest song and dance.                                                                                                                 

Newest hell from Senator Tom Tiffany; courtesy of Kim Wright of Midwest Environmental Advocates:: Co-sponsorship of LRB-3146/1 and LRB-3408/1 Relating to: Regulatory Certainty Act

Here is the latest bad idea from Tom Tiffany. It’s important to spread this around the state as fast as possible and get people to call their legislators and write letters to the editor. This bill is a smorgasbord of deregulation. Frac sand and blasting asbestos plus limits on local governments to protect the health of citizens on a wide variety of issues.

Here are the fingerprints Thanks to (Kim Wright)

From: Sen.Tiffany
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:55 PM
To: *Legislative All Senate; *Legislative All Assembly
Subject: Co-sponsorship of LRB-3146/1 and LRB-3408/1 Relating to: Regulatory Certainty Act

TO:                 Legislative Colleagues

FROM:           Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Joan Ballweg

DATE:           October 16, 2013

RE:                 Co-sponsorship of LRB 3146/1 & LRB 3408/1 relating to Local Regulation of Nonmetallic Mining

SHORT DEADLINE:  Monday, October 21st at Noon.

In February of 2012, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision that substantially expanded the authority of local governments to regulate land use under the guise of its police powers, rather than through the zoning process.  This expanded use of police powers enables local governments to duplicate, ignore or otherwise evade long-standing zoning requirements and procedures associated with the siting and operation of non-metallic mining sites.  As a result, the industry is increasingly becoming subjected to a patchwork of local zoning and police power ordinances that may involve multiple layers of local government.  The court's decision undermines local zoning and creates regulatory and operational uncertainty for the non-metallic mining industry in Wisconsin.

This legislation does three things:

  1.  Legislatively reaffirms that local land use restrictions on non-metallic mining, as defined by Wis. Stat. §295.11 (3), may only be accomplished through the zoning authority of the county, town, village, or city.  Granting local governments the power to discriminatorily restrict or prevent non-metallic mining under its police power rather than through zoning creates an arbitrary and uncertain regulatory climate for the non-metallic mining industry.  It discourages future investment and threatens existing operations.

  1.  Legislatively reaffirms the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as the state's sole environmental regulator by specifically preempting local governments from enacting or enforcing standards related to air or water quality.  The DNR has historically served as the state's environmental regulator, and the Legislature has charged the agency with the responsibility of establishing air and water quality standards to protect public health.  Having a patchwork quilt of environmental standards scattered across the state will create confusion and inconsistency for the regulated community, which in turn will result in a barrier to investment.  The environmental "rules of the game" should not change from community to community.

  1.  Establishes state standards that provide for reasonable parameters under which financial assurance to protect against local road damage may be imposed by local government.  Such parameters would make clear that local government may not impose front end taxes for the privilege of operating on public roads, but may require that financial assurance be posted to cover actual road damages caused by any particular road user.  The non-metallic mining industry will continue to pay its fair share for road use.  Like any other bulk material enterprise, this industry relies on good roads and transportation infrastructure to move product to processing and market.

This legislation does not:

  *   Prevent a zoning jurisdiction from prohibiting non-metallic mining.
  *   Lessen the stringent regulatory standards on siting and operating a non-metallic mine.

If you would like to be added as a co-sponsor of this legislation, please contact Senator Tiffany's Office at 6-2509 or Representative Ballweg's Office at 6-8077 by Monday, October 21stat Noon.  You will automatically be added onto the companion legislation unless otherwise noted.