WALKER REPUBLICANS WANT: To bar local government control and decisions protecting air and water quality
FACT: Wisconsin is the nation’s No. 1 producer of sand used in fracking. There are currently at least 115 permitted or operational frac sand mines and processing plants in Wisconsin. A proposed Republican bill restricts local governments’ authority over roads and traffic and the use of explosives, as well as their ability to regulate air or water quality related to nonmetallic mines. The bill would also prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from establishing nonmetallic mining reclamation standards relating to water quality or air quality that are more restrictive than existing state laws.
WALKER REPUBLICANS CLAIM: Local municipalities’ ability to regulate air and water quality, road and explosive use, is hampering job creation and economic development.
FACT: The growing number of facilities is evidence that current licensing ordinances and zoning have not hindered industry growth.
Legislation proposed by WALKER REPUBLICANS would also block the abilities of communities to regulate outdoor wood boilers because of air pollution. Legislation would block local efforts to limit pollution from factory farms and others. For example, the Town of Rosendale prohibited aerial spraying of manure in response to concerns about exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens. Kewaunee County is considering expanded testing of groundwater because many wells have unsafe levels of nitrates and bacteria.
WALKER REPUBLICANS FORCED: Communities to accept all cell phone towers
FACT: New regulations on cell phone towers keep local governments from denying wireless tower permits solely for aesthetic reasons, limiting the height of towers to under 200 feet, or requiring that antennas and structures such as water towers be placed on public property. This corporate-written legislation was signed into law as part of the state budget while REPUBLICANTs were focusing attention on school budget cuts.
WALKER REPUBLICANS BLOCKED: Local municipalities; control over placement of cell phone towers in their (residents’) backyards
FACT: Cell phone tower regulations passed during the REPUBLICAN approval of the last budget keep local governments from conducting environmental testing and monitoring requirements for radio frequency emissions, which are harmful to human and animal health.
WALKER REPUBLICANS ARE KEEPING: Municipalities from an income stream that keeps taxes down
FACT: Municipalities in Wisconsin have collected nearly $1.2 million in cell phone tower lease fees (Post-Crescent Media survey of 10 communities). That money is being used to offset property taxes and utility fees.
This is just one example of legislation that is being driven by out-of-state corporate interests that takes away local people’s ability to protect their health, their safety, and their neighborhood.