November 29, 2014

Environmental group eyes looming mining debate

Republican leaders indicate updating the permitting of new mining projects is a top priority this legislative session. Amber Meyer Smith of Clean Wisconsin says, however, a change in state law does not guarantee a new mine will pop up soon. She notes the federal Army Corps of Engineers will be involved and tribes are indicating a possible legal challenge to a proposed Northern Wisconsin project.

“There are other measures that people might be able to take to prevent a bad mine from coming in and harming our environment,” she says, adding it’s “encouraging” there are levels of review beyond state permitting.

Clean Wisconsin last session supported a plan proposed by Senators Dale Schultz and Bob Jauch while opposing the Assembly approved AB 426.  “We’re analyzing where the legislature ended up last session because that’s where they saw they’re going to start this session,” says Smith.

Governor Walker touted the economic benefits of mining reform while touring several mining related businesses last week.

The new legislative session begins today.