BASIC MINING IN WISCONSIN
Mining is a "boom or bust" industry that is driven by the market price of the commodity being mined and the cost of extracting, processing and transporting the commodity being extracted to where it is needed. When the price of iron ore is high, it becomes economical to mine low-grade ore. When the price is low, companies close mines with low-grade deposits. When oil or gas prices are high, hydraulic fracking of almost exhausted wells is attractive and frac-sand prices soar and sand mining in Wisconsin booms. When oil and gas prices drop, the expensive "fracking" of wells drops off, the demand for sand drops, sand prices drop and the sand mines shut down as inventory levels rise.
In both sand and iron mining areas, the mining companies try to sell "jobs" as the big community benefit that will offset all of the environmental negatives (loss of ground water to high-capacity wells, ground water pollution, surface water pollution, air pollution, noise and light pollution, loss of real estate value, degradation of roads and other municipal infrastructure, to name just a few). However, with the industry subject to boom/bust cycles, the jobs are rarely steady. In addition, the payroll dollars from those jobs are often not spent in the communities in which the mines are sited, particularly when the jobs require special skills not available locally.
May 3 2014 - SB632/AB816, the reincarnations of Sen. Bill 349 were officially declared dead as of the end of the legislative session.
This page content is provided with thanks to many people who testified at and reported on the hearing Monday March 3, 2014, INCLUDING State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who arrived wearing several pounds of brace on her arm to testify in ringing tones about her opposition to this bill. Read her testimony in full below:
If you have two hours, please spend them watching this video of a lecture by Crispin Pierce, Ph.D., of UWEC and Michael McCawley, Ph.D. of UWV dealing with health impacts of ultra-fine particles generated by mining (sand mining and mountaintop removal). IT IS WORTH THE TIME YOU WILL SPEND ON IT!!!!!! Click Here.
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