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Appeal or new application could be next step for company pursuing Monroe county frac site



A frac sand processing plant in Monroe County may just be on hold for now.

The proposed $70 million Meteor Timber plant near Millston was derailed Friday when a judge ruled against the wetland permit issued for the plant by the Wisconsin DNR.

The judge agreed with groups like Clean Wisconsin that the state agency didn’t follow rules for issuing wetland permits.

“We need to fight to ensure the integrity of the permitting process, so that every project is treated alike and that every project has to meet the permitting standards,” Evan Feinauer, an attorney with Clean Wisconsin, said. “For practical purposes, it’s really troubling. It’s basically saying, ‘Here’s your permit. Here’s your permission to fill the wetland. And we’ll do our homework later to see if the mitigation will work.'”

Meteor Timber had hoped to fill in 16.25 acres of wetlands for the project.

“They are free to appeal that ruling to another court and get another judge to take a look at it — so that’s another option that they have, too,” Feinauer said. “So, we’re going to be monitoring this to see what happens next.

The company hasn’t indicated it would but it might try again.

There’s nothing legally that would prevent them for applying for another permit or for coming back for a new project proposal or anything like that,” Feinauer said.

Clean Wisconsin challenged the original permit on the grounds the DNR wasn’t following the process in granting the permit.

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