New Law Decreases Trucking, Emissions for Waupaca Foundry
New Law Decreases Trucking, Emissions for Waupaca Foundry

Gov. Evers Signs Law to Remove Weight Limits for Pig Iron Transport

(WAUPACA, Wisconsin) April 8, 2024— Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed a bill into law that will allow Waupaca Foundry and other state foundries to transport more raw pig iron to their facilities using fewer truckloads. The law, 2023 Wisconsin Act 156, changes weight limits and length limits on vehicles transporting metallic or nonmetallic scrap.


According to Waupaca Foundry General Counsel Erik Ellingson, the law eliminates confusion over what a recyclable metal material is. Originating from iron ore, pig iron is a raw material used in the iron casting process. Prior to this law being passed, there were restrictions on the amount that could be transported on Wisconsin roads.


“The distinction resulted in a negative impact on the environment, with extra, wasteful truck loads to accomplish the same hauling task,” Ellingson said. “The new act will reduce the number of trucks needed to haul, which will, in turn, reduce emissions.” 


Pig iron is used in Waupaca Foundry iron castings and is purchased overseas and shipped north from the port of New Orleans to a holding site in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Waupaca Foundry estimates that this law will reduce roughly 300 truckloads and offset rising logistics costs to transport the pig iron from LaCrosse to its four Wisconsin foundries.


According to the National Association of Manufacturers, Wisconsin factories are responsible for 18.95% of the total economic output in the state, employing 16.76% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $66.32 billion in 2021 and an average of 486,000 people were employed in manufacturing.


Manufacturing is essential to Wisconsin’s economy,” said Rob Johnson, executive vice president of administration, CFO, and treasurer for Waupaca Foundry. “This legislation eliminates barriers for Waupaca Foundry and other manufacturers operating in the state.”


“I think the public sometimes thinks that business and government are at constant odds with each other,” Ellingson said. “The passage of this new law is a prime example of why that is not true.”


The bill was co-authored by Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) and Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan). 


“Waupaca Foundry does great work for our community, and it’s always a great day when we can cut bureaucratic red tape for businesses in Wisconsin,” said Representative Petersen. The bill was signed into law on Thursday, March 21, 2024.




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