Though staffed by excellent people with the best of intentions, our regulatory system is set up to keep citizens busy without actually allowing them to have real decision-making power about things that affect their health, livelihoods and futures. This has been the case since their inception.
Our neighbors in Wisconsin are experiencing disempowerment at every turn as they try to protect their families, aquifers, lungs, air, and roads from the devastation that mining has brought them.
In 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) had violated the Clean Water Act on numerous counts at the Flambeau Mine site. This year, the US Court of Appeals for the 7th circut ruled "that the mining permit issued to Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) by the State of Wisconsin “shielded” the company from prosecution and that we therefore could not enforce the Clean Water Act against FMC (even though the company had indeed violated the Act, as determined by the U.S. District Court)." Quote from Laura Gauger (Legal Affairs Coordinator, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council), October 30, 2013