The Latest: Committee OKs lifting mining moratorium - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

The Latest: Committee OKs lifting mining moratorium

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) --A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would end Wisconsin's sulfide mining moratorium.

The Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry voted 3-2 to approve the bill Wednesday. All three Republicans on the committee voted for the bill. The two Democrats voted against it. Committee approval sets up a full Senate vote.

Wisconsin lawmakers enacted legislation in 1998 requiring companies seeking to mine sulfide ores such as copper, zinc and gold must prove similar Canadian or U.S. mines have operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without causing pollution. The state Department of Natural Resources has never made a final determination that any applications fit those standards.

The bill's chief author, Sen. Tom Tiffany, says sulfide mining could jump-start northern Wisconsin's economy.


9:15 a.m.

A legislative committee is set to take the first votes on a Republican bill that would lift Wisconsin's sulfide mining moratorium.

The Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry is slated to vote on the measure Wednesday afternoon. Approval would set up a full Senate vote.

Wisconsin lawmakers enacted legislation in 1998 requiring companies seeking to mine sulfide ores such as copper, zinc and gold must prove similar Canadian or U.S. mines have operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without causing pollution. The state Department of Natural Resources has never made a final determination that any applications fit those standards.

Sen. Tom Tiffany's bill would eliminate the moratorium, exempt sampling from environmental impact statements and forbid administrative law judges from blocking DNR mining application decisions.

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