Proposal would provide funding to clean up hazardous electronic waste left behind by 5R Processors

MADISON – During Wednesday’s floor session, the State Assembly unanimously approved Assembly Bill (AB) 943 authored by Representative James Edming (R-Glen Flora) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon). This important legislation provides up to $2.5 million in funding for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to contract for the removal of the hazardous electronic waste left behind by the now-defunct company 5R Processors. This waste is currently contained in several semi-trailers and warehouse facilities located in Rusk, Price, and Washington Counties.

“I am pleased to see this important legislation receive unanimous support in the Assembly,” said Edming. “While we would all like to see those who are responsible for this hazardous waste pay for the cost of the cleanup, they are likely to never have the money to do so. Unless the state steps in, the cost of this cleanup could fall to local governments and local taxpayers which they cannot afford.”

Investigations of 5R by the DNR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered a great deal of illegal activity on the part of company, including the storing of hazardous waste at unpermitted facilities, transporting hazardous waste without the required manifest, and concealing these violations from state regulators.

“I’ve looked at this for a long time trying to find the best way forward,” said Petrowski. “This is the best available solution to a very unfortunate situation and I’m hopeful that this will solve the problem and allow us to move forward.”

AB 943 now advances to the State Senate for further consideration.

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