Opposition Groups File Suit to Prevent Wetlands Fill

Environmental groups and the Ho-Chunk Nation are going to court to block a frac sand mine from filling a wetland in Monroe County, Wis., according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

Midwest Environmental Advocates, on behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation, filed a petition to have a circuit court judge review the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ approval of a permit to allow Atlanta-based Meteor Timber to fill 16 acres of hardwood swamp.

Clean Wisconsin has filed a similar petition with the DNR seeking a contested case hearing with an administrative law judge.

Meteor Timber wants the land for a rail terminal that will be part of a $65 million frac sand mine and processing facility.

Sarah Geers, an attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates, said her client and organization are concerned the plan will destroy a large amount of high-quality wetlands hard to find in Wisconsin and that the permit application was incomplete when approved by the DNR.

In past interviews, the company has touted its plan to preserve hundreds of acres of wetlands with conservation easements and restore wetlands that were drained for a now-defunct cranberry farm.