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Rock From The Road: Blog & Travelogue

July 17, 2018 – Last year in California, legislators enacted a 12-cents-per-gal. gas tax hike to boost funding to repair California’s decaying roads and bridges. But now, Proposition 6, which...

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Automation solutions from Epiroc save time in your mining operation, are more cost efficient than manual operation, increase safety and raise productivity – all at once. To minimize environmental impact and...

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Victaulic’s QuickVic SD Installation-Ready System is a plain end pipe joining technology designed for use on carbon steel systems sized 2 in./DN50 and down. It is the most economical and...
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Manufacturers in Focus

Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced a $12 million investment that will expand production to include popular off-the-road (OTR) tire sizes at its Bloomington, Ill., plant. The plant will produce multiple sizes...
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People on the Move

Pete Ruane, president and chief executive officer of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), announced he will be retiring from the organization in October after 30 years of...
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Rock Stars

Emily Haas, Ph.D., is the winner of an Arthur S. Flemming award presented by the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. Hass has co-authored...
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Distributor News

Motion Industries Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., recently opened its new distribution center in Auburn, Wash. The facility is managed by Ryan Mort.
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Resource Center

 

Permit Approval Raises Eyebrows


The Town of Bridgeport, Minn.'s decision to approve two permits for a controversial frac sand mine had conflict-of-interest issues, including those involving two Planning Commission members who had family working for the mining company at the time of their vote, according to a lawsuit.

The complaint was filed in Crawford County Circuit Court a day before the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board is expected to vote on whether to issue a permit for a frac sand mine, which would be located near the Iowa border a few miles east of the Mississippi River, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Plans for the frac sand mine are controversial because of its location partially on land that is protected for its natural beauty.

There are about 100 frac sand mines in the state. Sand in Wisconsin is used in hydraulic fracturing in other parts of the nation and world to obtain natural gas.
Some members of the Riverway Board said in a memo the mine was a bad idea but that a "loophole" in state law might require the board to approve the permit.

The lawsuit alleges Bridgeport Planning Commission members had conflicts: Linda Smrcina's son-in-law and Troy Smrcina's brother-in-law worked for the mining company when they voted on the permit. That information was not made public at the time of the vote, the filing said.

The lawsuit asks for the court to void the two permits granted by the town. An environmental organization, the Crawford Stewardship Project, and neighbors of the mine site filed the suit.

Mark Cupp, executive director of the Riverway Board, said the lawsuit should not change the board's decision-making process. The lawsuit also says zoning ordinances were violated because the town did not consider potential ill effects from the mine.