La Crosse Tribune,
September 13, 2017-
Last-minute changes to the state budget would strip local governments in Wisconsin of the right to regulate quarries, and some fear the proposals could be expanded to take away town and county control over the frac sand mines that dot the western part of the state. The Legislature’s budget-writing committee last week approved a package of changes to the spending plan. In addition to stipulations on transportation funding and policy issues, the 18-page memo includes five pages of language devoted to the regulation of quarries that supply sand and gravel for construction.
Among other things, it prohibits counties and municipalities from regulating blasting, hours of operation, and noise, air and water quality. It would also limit the reach of local zoning laws. The amendment threatens “100 years of tradition of local control — letting local people make land use decisions,” said Timothy Zeglin, vice chairman of the Trempealeau County Board. Fellow supervisor Jeanne Nutter said without control local officials can’t be accountable to their constituents.