Legislative hearing on mining canceledA bill that would fast-track iron ore mining has itself been slowed down. A joint Senate/Assembly hearing set for the bill Monday has been canceled.
By: Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A bill that would fast-track iron ore mining has itself been slowed down. A joint Senate/Assembly hearing set for the bill Monday has been canceled.
The yet unnamed bill would set a timetable to approve permits for iron, non-sulfide mines at 300 days. Right now, it takes two to seven years to approve a mine. An iron ore mine is being proposed by Gogebic Taconite in Ashland and Iron Counties.
The proposed mine is in Democratic state Sen. Bob Jauch’s district. He says since the bill hasn’t even been published yet, it’s good the public hearing was canceled.
“It’s absolutely outrageous that two publicly elected officials would dare to schedule a hearing with only five days notice on a bill written by the mining companies but not available to the public.”
Meanwhile, a draft copy of the bill obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio says the new rules are similar to current statutes except: “the applicant is not required to include a risk assessment of accidental health and environmental hazards potentially associated with the mining operation.”