This is an archived version of the Wisconsin Wave website.
MADISON--On Thursday, Oct. 24, at 12 noon, Wisconsin citizens will rally on the State Street Steps outside the State Capitol in response to the unprecedented attack on local democracy launched by Sen. Tom Tiffany on behalf of the frac sand mining industry.
Last week, Tiffany made public LRB-3146, a draft bill that would strip local governments of the power to protect air and water quality, prevent unsafe blasting, and recoup costs to taxpayers from damage done to local roadways by heavy truck traffic from frac sand mining operations. While aimed squarely at communities experiencing the consequences of the uncontrolled boom in frac sand mining, the law impacts counties, townships, and municipalities throughout Wisconsin. It would prevent local governments anywhere from instituting environmental and public health protections beyond what the state is able or willing to enforce, such as efforts of communities threatened by the proposed G-Tac open pit iron mine to prevent blasting in asbestos-laden bedrock.
"This bill has the effect of regarding residents in our townships across the whole state as simply collateral damage that is 'necessary' for industry development and profits," said UW-Eau Claire Professor Emeritus Ron Koshoshek, who lives near Chippewa Falls.
The Senate committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue is likely to hold a public hearing on the bill starting at 9 am on Thursday. A citizen lobby day against the bill is also being planned.
The noon rally is being sponsored by more than 30 groups, including: Madison Action for Mining Alternatives, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Wisconsin Grassroots Network, Save the Hills Alliance, Inc., Family Farm Defenders, Preserve Trempealeau County, Save Our Town Whitehall, Town of Lincoln Concerned Citizens, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, SOUL of Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Crawford Stewardship Project, Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, People Empowered Protect the Land (PEPL) of Rosendale, Kewaunee CARES, Reedsburg Area Concerned Citizens, South Western Wisconsin Area Progressives, Frac Sand Sentinel, Concerned Chippewa Citizens, Monroe County Sand Mines, Houston County Protectors (MN), Maiden Rock Concerned Citizens, Sierra Club, Loyalty to Our Land, Buffalo County Defenders, Hale No to Frac Sand Mining in Western WI, Physicians and Health Care Providers of the Chippewa Valley, Juneau Action Group, Preserve Waupaca County, Allamakee County Protectors Education Campaign (IA), and others.
WHAT: Rally to Stop the Frac Attack Power Grab
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 24, 12 noon
WHERE: State Street side of the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison