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OCLRA Wants More Environmental Review Before Drilling Permits Are Approved

Dan Dumas/Kim Swisher Communications

Oneida County's Planning & Development committee Wednesday will discuss an exploration permit in the Town of Schoepke for Badger Minerals. The firm announced in January a plan to test drill on private land not far from the Wolf River and a feeder creek. The Wisconsin legislature has streamlined the mining laws, enabling faster review.

One local group has submitted a letter to be considered Wednesday at 2 p.m. Bob Martini of Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association says that group is opposed to any activity affecting the water...

"The Wolf River is an Outstanding Resource Water under state law, it's also a federal wild river and it also runs toward the Menominee Nation, a sovereign nation. It has great importance, one of the premier water bodies in Oneida county and northern Wisconsin. We wanted to go on record advising the county and the(P&D) committee to go the extra mile in evaluating the potential impact of even prospecting wells.."

Martini feels the streamlined process has lessened local input and the group feels the public should demand more intensive study be done on environmental impacts before permitting is allowed.

In 2018, more than 62 percent of Oneida County voters opposed a proposal for a sulfide mine upstream of the Willow Flowage.

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