Superior's Stella-Jones Corporation gets support from Northland lawmakers

By KBJR News 1

April 7, 2014 Updated Apr 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- Superior's Stella Jones Corporation is getting some help from Northland lawmakers to fix what they call a glitch in state law that requires them to get a costly bond to receive a solid waste permit.

"We worked very closely with the D-N-R and the company to come up with common sense solutions to make sure that we can continue to have this great facility here in Superior," said said Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range.

When the company moved from Duluth to Superior, the Wisconsin D-N-R environmental clean-up policy did not recognize that the company had the financial means to pay for any remedial action if they eventually shut down. Because of this, they were required to purchase an additional bond to obtain the permit...with a hefty price tag of $40,000 a year.

The company turned to Wisconsin legislators for help, who went to work crafting a new law establishing additional criteria for financial viability.

"This bill does not create an exception for Stella Jones, it simply makes Stella Jones equal with any other company when they apply for solid waste permits," said Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar)

The company still has to meet the same environmental and financial obligations as any other company needing a solid waste permit. The bill will save the company 40 grand, something legislators say will spur economic development and job growth.

"A simple and common sense solution to a financial problem. It was just the company's ability to show the financial integrity so they would not be required to purchase a bond that would have been an impediment to their economic success as a business.," said Representative Janet Bewley.

Officials from Stella Jones say they appreciate the support from lawmakers.

"It definitely shows that indeed Wisconsin's economy and business is important to the D-N-R and the legislature," said Liz Russell, Division Manager for the Bangor, WI plant.

The bill is currently on Governor Walker's desk waiting to be signed.

Stella Jones Corporation grinds up railroad ties into 3 inch chips that are then burned as biomass fuel by companies like MInnesota Power and Xcel Energy.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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