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From: Sen.Tiffany
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:55 PM
To: *Legislative All Senate; *Legislative All Assembly
Subject: Co-sponsorship of LRB-3146/1 and LRB-3408/1 Relating to: Regulatory Certainty Act

TO: Legislative Colleagues

FROM: Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Joan Ballweg

DATE: October 16, 2013

RE: Co-sponsorship of LRB 3146/1 & LRB 3408/1 relating to Local Regulation of Nonmetallic Mining

SHORT DEADLINE: Monday, October 21st at Noon.

In February of 2012, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision that substantially expanded the authority of local governments to regulate land use under the guise of its police powers, rather than through the zoning process. This expanded use of police powers enables local governments to duplicate, ignore or otherwise evade long-standing zoning requirements and procedures associated with the siting and operation of non-metallic mining sites. As a result, the industry is increasingly becoming subjected to a patchwork of local zoning and police power ordinances that may involve multiple layers of local government. The court’s decision undermines local zoning and creates regulatory and operational uncertainty for the non-metallic mining industry in Wisconsin.

This legislation does three things:

Legislatively reaffirms that local land use restrictions on non-metallic mining, as defined by Wis. Stat. §295.11 (3), may only be accomplished through the zoning authority of the county, town, village, or city. Granting local governments the power to discriminatorily restrict or prevent non-metallic mining under its police power rather than through zoning creates an arbitrary and uncertain regulatory climate for the non-metallic mining industry. It discourages future investment and threatens existing operations.

Legislatively reaffirms the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as the state’s sole environmental regulator by specifically preempting local governments from enacting or enforcing standards related to air or water quality. The DNR has historically served as the state’s environmental regulator, and the Legislature has charged the agency with the responsibility of establishing air and water quality standards to protect public health. Having a patchwork quilt of environmental standards scattered across the state will create confusion and inconsistency for the regulated community, which in turn will result in a barrier to investment. The environmental “rules of the game” should not change from community to community.

Establishes state standards that provide for reasonable parameters under which financial assurance to protect against local road damage may be imposed by local government. Such parameters would make clear that local government may not impose front end taxes for the privilege of operating on public roads, but may require that financial assurance be posted to cover actual road damages caused by any particular road user. The non-metallic mining industry will continue to pay its fair share for road use. Like any other bulk material enterprise, this industry relies on good roads and transportation infrastructure to move product to processing and market.

This legislation does not:

Prevent a zoning jurisdiction from prohibiting non-metallic mining.
Lessen the stringent regulatory standards on siting and operating a non-metallic mine.

If you would like to be added as a co-sponsor of this legislation, please contact Senator Tiffany’s Office at 6-2509 or Representative Ballweg’s Office at 6-8077 by Monday, October 21stat Noon. You will automatically be added onto the companion legislation unless otherwise noted.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views that predominate here. Long rants proclaiming the infallibility of your own views or favorite ideology will not be posted, neither will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed, nor will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flame-baiting and name calling. Please indicate precisely what you are blogging about. I just got a post from ? E-Mail ? which said: "Is this going to be OUR furture??. I have no idea what they were referring to and no way to contact them. This is why we prefer comments that are signed by actual persons who leave their E-Mail address (it won't be published) so they can be contacted if questions arise.

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