Eight Wis. residents file suit against the WDNR

By KBJR News 1

Eight Wis. residents file suit against the WDNR

March 12, 2014 Updated Mar 12, 2014 at 7:23 PM CST

Iron County, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) -- Eight concerned citizens are suing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources over Gogebic Taconite's bulk sampling activities.

The suit was filed in Iron County Circuit Court on Monday.

Residents believe the DNR did not follow the law when they waived the stormwater permitting process for Gogebic Taconite's bulk sampling activities.

On February 4th, the mining company submitted a bulk sample "winter weather alternative" plan.

The DNR did not require the company to get a storm water run-off permit under that plan.

The DNR was not able to comment specifically on the lawsuit.

However, Larry Lynch, hydrogeologist for the DNR, says they did not require the company to get a permit because they were disturbing less than an acre of land.

The permit would have required G–Tac to mitigate contamination from storm water discharges that have the potential to carry contaminants into the water shed.

The lawsuit also asks the DNR to take the proper steps to protect the land from further erosion.

"They are also concerned that if the DNR is allowed to do their permitting in an incomplete way at this stage of activities in the Penokees, that's a bad sign for how permitting steps and stages will be done in the future," said Dennis Grzezinski, attorney for the eight residents.

The company wrapped up bulk sampling activities in mid February.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com

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