Report: WI mining bill would slash money for environment - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Report: WI mining bill would slash money for environment

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MADISON (WKOW) -- New numbers show the controversial mining bill would mean taking away tens of millions of dollars that would otherwise be used for recycling and environmental protection.

The GOP's mining bill is designed to help Gogebic Taconite open a large iron ore mine near Lake Superior.

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a report that examines the changes the bill makes to waste rock disposal fees. Right now, mining companies have to pay the state about seven dollars per ton. The money helps fund recycling efforts, sediment and water pollution abatement programs and state administration of contaminated land and brownfield cleanup programs.

The bill would reduce those fees to about 3 cents per ton. The report says the move means Gogebic Taconite wouldn't have to pay the state about $171 million annually it would otherwise owe.

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau is a nonpartisan service agency of the Wisconsin Legislature that provides fiscal and program information and analyses to the Wisconsin Legislature, its committees, and individual legislators.
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