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Program On Mining In Northern Wisconsin Shows Divide


The state Senate's mining panel endorsed a bill Wednesday from its Republican chairman Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst who said that if opponents had their way, the miner should be taken off the state flag because, quote, "he's not going to work here anymore." (end quote) The vote was 3-2, with Democrats voting no, to send the bill to the full Senate.

The bill authored by Tiffany and Assembly Representative Rob Hutton called "Mining For America" would eliminate the 1998 Mining Moratorium law, which requires mining companies to prove they won't pollute before they can get permits to mine. During a recent radio program, Tiffany said the law effectively bans large scale mining...

".....it is a moratorium and stated as such in the statute. If you look at the statute written in the late '90's it is called the mining moratorium. Here's why it doesn't make sense. A company can't open in Wisconsin because they can't prove that they would have a mine open for ten years and closed for ten years. It's impossible to get there with the law in place in Wisconsin...."

But the state Sierra Club's mining chair Dave Blouin says the possible damage to water supplies is the core issue...

"....the industry hasn't been able to prove its claims that it can do it safely. I think it's that simple. Mining in metallic sulfides are really difficult because of the issues caused when this type of mining takes place. In sulfides, the problems that take place. Exposing this rock, crushing it up fine into a very fine powder and exposing it to water causes sulfuric acid...."

The program is courtesy of Wisconsin Public Radio.

WXPR will present the program at 4:00 p.m. during the first hour of All Things Considered Friday.We will play National Native News at the end of the mining program. The second hour of All Things Considered will run as normal.

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