Slag Is No Longer Considered Waste
Law backed by WMC, signed by Walker, lets waste byproduct of steel and iron evade rules.
A byproduct from making iron and steel, known as slag, is no longer considered solid waste in some cases under a change in state law backed by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).
The revision made with Assembly Bill 941 says slag does not have to meet storage and disposal requirements under state solid waste law if it is reused as a construction material. Slag is most commonly used in road construction and as a cement additive in construction projects.
Opponents said slag contaminants vary widely and that the material should be tested before it is used in commercial building projects to ensure it does not pose a health threat, especially to children, or an environmental hazard. Some slag is contaminated with thallium and manganese, which can cause neurological problems, as well as other trace metals that may leach into groundwater, they said.
The change in law prohibits using slag that is not encapsulated within 100 feet of residential dwellings, schools, and daycares without state approval.
WMC, which is among the largest special interest spenders on outside electioneering activities, has doled out an estimated $19.8 million since January 2010 to support GOP and conservative legislative and statewide candidates.