EPA

commons.wikimedia.org

Travelers often remark when coming to the Northwoods about how clean our air is here. A recent federal report finds all Wisconsin counties should be designated as meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The EPA reviewed  data from all 50 states on fine particles. Wisconsin met or exceeded EPA standards from border to border.

Wisconsin DNR Air Management Specialist Anne Bogar says  the numbers show the state's air is cleaner...

At least one tribal leader is optimistic after the recent meetings between Midwest tribes and the EPA this week.

Lac du Flambeau Spokesperson Brandon Thoms says according to tribal President Maulson, the discussions were positive. 

“It showed that there’s definitely a willingness between the EPA to work with the tribes, and President Maulson indicated that the tribes are understood that they have a vested interest.” 

Gogebic Taconite’s mine proposal isn’t the only topic the state’s Chippewa tribes plan to discuss when they meet with the EPA this week.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Chairman Chris McGeshick  says the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is also on the agenda. 

McGeshick says the initiative hopes to focus its dollars within Great Lakes basins, but he hopes to clarify that the tribes can apply for other projects as well.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Governor Scott Walker says he hopes the EPA won’t intervene based on political reasons to stop an iron mine permitting process from moving forward. 

Wisconsin’s six Chippewa tribes have asked the federal agency to step in before the state DNR or the Army Corps of Engineers reviews a proposed mine in the Penokee Hills.  The tribes say water quality and fisheries protected by treaty rights are at stake.

Stopping in Rhinelander today, Governor Walker said state laws offer strong environmental protections.

https://flic.kr/p/rXbJZ

The Forest County Potawatomi Community is taking a first step towards controlling water quality on its reservation. The Wisconsin DNR is looking for public input on the proposal.

The tribe has applied to the EPA for treatment as state.  Which means it would have authority to uphold water quality standards on the reservation.  Potawatomi spokesperson George Ermert says to do that the tribe must prove that is has the resources to manage water quality. 

The Attorney General's office has reached a judgment against Wisconsin Public Service because of violations of it's air pollution control permit.  The northeastern Wisconsin utility is being fined $80,000.

The civil complaint was filed in Marathon County Circuit Court.  DNR Air Management spokesperson Jeff Johnson talks about what happened this week.