Ron Johnson talks about EPA regulations in Mercer

MERCER, Wis. – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, toured Action Floor Systems in Mercer Wednesday, the proposed iron mine site near Upson and visited the Hurley K-12 School.

Johnson, kicked off the day by spending about an hour and a half touring the plant at Mercer, and discussing some concerns the company has regarding possible or pending legislation.

Dan Corullo, owner of Action Floor Systems, said he and Johnson have met on other occasions, and Johnson was interested in stopping by.

“He is interested in forest products,” Corullo said. “He likes to take tours and then has a common sense approach to things.”

The plant produces three gymnasium floors per day.

A large boiler is housed in one portion of the plant, and Corullo said out of a $1.2 million project, the company had to spend $375,000 alone on scrubbers to prevent particulates from leaving the machine.

The issue Corullo and many other businesses face is new boiler rules through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Corullo, the rules are too harsh, and despite his boiler “exceeding every EPA (standard),” the current boiler doesn’t meet the new boiler standards.

For Johnson, it’s something he is all too familiar with.

“This is the level of uncertainty the federal government is creating for local businesses,” Johnson said. “If the Boiler MACT rules are to go through, that is going to shut down a business like this.”

At the proposed mine site off Wisconsin 77 near Upson, Johnson mentioned how the federal government has been creating a lot of uncertainty with businesses, and used the planned G-Tac mine as an example.

“There is a high level of uncertainty on whether or not this is going to take place in this area,” Johnson said. “That uncertainty is really sad.”

Johnson focused on issues the federal government is facing, including Social Security, the $17.4 trillion deficit, poverty levels and government control.

“What I want is for people to get the facts and the information,” Johnson said. “People don’t have to agree with me, but all I ask is for people to get informed and think. … Solutions to the problems in our country begin and end with accurate information and the truth.”