Mining Bill Passes Senate; On to Assembly
By Donnelly Clare
After nearly nine hours of debate, the State Senate passed the mining bill by one vote.
Senator Jerry Petrowski (Mosinee) says these amendments have all been discussed before and he was not surprised to see them voted down on the floor.
Senator Julie Lassa (Stevens Point) criticized the bill, which deals with mining regulations for a taconite mine and processing plant near Ashland, saying it favored a mining corporation over environmental concerns.
“It will jeopardize our wetlands, and the bill that the company wrote allows for streams and rivers and lakes and wetlands to be filled in with toxic waste from the mine that contains arsenic, lead, and mercury. That is not the type of responsible mining bill that the people of Wisconsin deserve,” Lassa said.
The author of the mining bill, Senator Tom Tiffany (Hazelhurst) argued the bill is environmentally friendly.
“The rock characterization process that we have written into this bill is thorough. The know-how and technology is completely different, and that’s why I call this a twenty-first century iron ore mining bill.”
Tiffany also said the mine will create many new jobs which will positively impact the economy.
The bill now moves to the State Assembly, which could be voted on as early as next week.