Judge invalidates western Wisconsin sand mine permits - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Judge invalidates western Wisconsin sand mine permits

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- -

A judge says the state Department of Natural Resources improperly granted a Georgia company permits to destroy western Wisconsin wetlands to make way for sand processing plant.

Meteor Timber wants to build a $70 million plant to process industrial sand in Monroe County. The plans call for destroying 16 acres of wetlands. The DNR awarded the company permits last year, drawing a challenge from Clean Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Administrative Law Judge Eric Defort ruled Friday that the DNR improperly granted the permits because the agency lacked enough information to determine the environmental impact, Meteor's mitigation plan wasn't adequate and the project would cause significant adverse impacts.

Chris Mathias is Meteor Timber's project manager. He issued a statement through the company's attorneys saying the company disagrees with the decision and the benefits of the project warrant further "discussion and thought."

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