State Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) joined four other Assembly lawmakers in sending a letter to Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Joan Ballweg -- authors of Wisconsin bills to limit local control of frac sand mining -- opposing the legislation’s failure to honor the principle of local control.
Their letter reads:
“As representatives of western Wisconsin, we have seen firsthand the economic benefits created by the nonmetallic mining industry. Frac sand mines have already brought thousands of jobs to Wisconsin, and will undoubtedly play an important role in the continued economic success of the region.
“Our state and nation have benefited greatly from these mines, but it is in our districts that frac sand mining has changed daily life. This development has been largely positive, but our communities expect and deserve to have a voice in the regulation of frac sand mines.
“We are concerned about the possibility of a few bad actors abusing their police powers, but as drafted SB 349 significantly impairs the ability of our communities to ensure that frac mining is done responsibly. Nonmetallic mining is an important part of our regional economy, and we need this industry to be successful, but we cannot support this bill.
“We believe the non-metallic mining industry has real concerns that need to be addressed, but legislation in this area must honor the principle of local control.As drafted, SB 349 does not.”