Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative: Grothman brings back asbestos bill just in time for DNR revelation

By Barbara With
Posted Oct. 11, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative (WCMC)
Reprinted in part with permission

This is the first in a WCMC four-part series on asbestos.

MADISON, WIS. -- On Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) introduced a substitute amendment to controversial SB13, the torts and personal injury trusts reform bill that makes it harder for victims of asbestos poisoning to receive trust money allotted for dealing with mesothelioma. Introduced back in February by Grothman and Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), SB13 had a public hearing on April 11, although  the hearing results have yet to be posted on the official Wisconsin legislative website.

On Oct. 6, WCMC broke the story of abundant grunerite asbestos at Bulk Sampling Site 4 of the proposed Gogebic Taconite (GTac) mining project in the Penokee Hills. GTac repeatedly denied the presence of asbestos in their bulk sampling permit application. The state Department of Natural Resources knew that grunerite was present at GTac’s bulk sample sites but did little to give the public information on the potential health risks. DNR Hydrologist Larry Lynch went so far as to say he would trust GTac to come up with a plan to contain the asbestos that they themselves were denying existed.

Bad River Tribal Chair Mike Wiggins Jr. accused GTac of a cover-up, calling their denial of the presence of asbestos "a compelling premeditation for disaster." ...

Photo insert: A cross polarized light image of a piece of grunerite asbestos from Bulk Sampling Site 4 taken by pointing a cell phone down the camera port of a microscope showing the asbestos needles. The width of the piece is approximately 300 microns = 0.3 mm or about 1/100th of an inch. (Photo © and courtesy Dr. Joseph Skulan)

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