(3/3/14) State lawmakers will hear what people think today about a compromise bill to scale back strong local regulations on frac-sand mines.
The Assembly and Senate mining panels will hold a joint public hearing at noon at the State Capitol on a revised measure proposed last week by Senate Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst. It would prohibit existing mines from facing new regulations. And it would not prohibit local governments from slapping a number of regulations on new silica-sand facilities -- including local air-and-water quality standards, banning sand blasts, making frac-sand shippers pay advance fees to cover road damage. Wisconsin towns and counties said Tiffany's original bill would have stomped on local control. Tiffany says those groups don't object to his compromise. He says he's trying to make sure local governments don't legislate frac-sand mines into disappearing. The Sierra Club environmental group still accuses Tiffany of selling out to the frac-sand industry.