The Latest: Senator opposes wetlands change for frac company

February 28, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on proposal to benefit frac sand company (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

The Republican chairman of the state Senate’s Natural Resources Committee says he does not support an Assembly amendment that would circumvent the appeals process for a frac sand operation looking to fill 16 acres of wetlands to build a new facility in western Wisconsin.

The opposition from Sen. Rob Cowles represents a hurdle for the bill passing the Senate and becoming law.

The Assembly last week added an amendment to a largely technical bill that would allow Meteor Timber to proceed with building its $70 million facility even as the granting of a permit is being challenged.

Cowles says that should be introduced as a separate bill, which would kill the proposal for this session.

But Cowles says “there’s always forces above us that can override this guy.”


9:14 a.m.

A state Senate committee is scheduled to take testimony on a bill that the Wisconsin Assembly amended to include environmental exemptions for a controversial $70 million sand processing development in western Wisconsin.

The bill before the Senate committee Wednesday does not include that provision meant to benefit Meteor Timber, but it could be added.

The hearing provides opponents to the move a chance to speak against it in hopes the Senate won’t go along with the Assembly’s change.

Meteor Timber is an Atlanta-based company that’s planning a sand-processing plant to serve the frac sand industry near Interstate 94 in Monroe County. Environmental groups and others have been speaking out against the project.

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