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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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More than 1 million gallons of manure spilled. The fine? $464.10.

Under Scott Walker, the Wisconsin DNR has been de-fanged. Even the Urinal/Sentinel (which still endorses Walker) has noticed.


More than 1 million gallons of manure flowed from a small farm for months, say Marathon County officials, quickly filling a storage tank the size of a small basement, then trickling into a wetland and eventually entering the Little Eau Pleine River on the far western edge of the county. The fine? $464.10.

In 18 other environmental cases involving farms since 2008, forfeitures levied by the Department of Natural Resources have often exceeded $30,000. In 2009, one farm paid forfeitures and other penalties totaling $85,000, according to DNR records of cases tracked for farms under 700 milking cows.


Environmental groups have complained about weaker environmental enforcement under Gov. Scott Walker's administration. Enforcement by the DNR under Walker was lower in the first three years of his term compared to other administrations going back to 2000, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.


Former DNR Secretary George Meyer, who has been critical of the agency under the administration of Gov. Scott Walker, believes the penalty in Marathon County was too low. While the agency has the obligation to consider extenuating circumstances, hefty fines serve as deterrent for others, Meyer said. "This is ultimately why you have forfeitures," said Meyer, who led the DNR's enforcement division for 10 years. "You can have hunting and fishing violations that are more than this." Meyer questioned why the DNR did not refer the case to the state Department of Justice. In such cases, if parties are found liable, penalties would be higher.

Rail Workers Revolt against Driving Solo

Hey, what's the safety of crew and passengers compared to profits? And why are union officers negotiating in secret?


“There’s a real rank-and-file rebellion going on right now,” says Jen Wallis, a Seattle switchman-conductor for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. “People who’ve never been involved in the union, never went to a union meeting, they are showing up and they’re joining Railroad Workers United in droves. “People are saying, ‘We have to take action now to stop it. We can’t let our union officers do this to us.’”

What’s all the fuss? On July 16, thousands of railroaders abruptly learned their union officers had held secret negotiations with BNSF, one of the country’s biggest freight carriers, and reached a deal to allow single-person train crews: a safety disaster.

Ballots on the tentative agreement went out in early August, and are due back in early September. If the vote goes up, huge freight trains could rumble through towns across the western U.S. with just an engineer onboard, no conductor. This would be a first on a major railway, and a foot in the door for the whole industry. BNSF is owned by Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest people.

“Members had no clue this was even coming,” said John Paul Wright, a locomotive engineer working out of Louisville, Kentucky. “The membership is basically saying, “What in the hell is going on? We never thought our own union would sell us out.’” Wright is co-chair of the cross-union, rank-and-file group Railroad Workers United, which has been campaigning against the looming threat of single-person crews for a decade. With just weeks to go, its members are suddenly busy sending out “vote no” stickers and appealing to local labor councils to pass resolutions backing two-person crews.

The problem with posting comments in the order they're submitted

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on The Clean Power Plan




On June 2, 2014, EPA proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. States, cities and businesses across the country are already taking action to address the risks of climate change. EPA's proposal builds on those actions and is flexible - reflecting that different states have a different mix of sources and opportunities, and reflecting the important role of states as full partners with the federal government in cutting pollution. This proposal will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.


Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule - June 2, 2014
Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule comment guide

Do we need more gun ownership restrictions or just better mental health services and checks?


Rambo loads up, takes aim, fires both barrels.

Happy 79th Birthday, Social Security

50 years ago, the largest employer in America was GM ...

So they're anti-abortion and anti-birth control? Why would that be?

Congratulations Ferguson Police

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