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NEWS STORIES

GOP says mining changes protect environment betterSubmitted: 02/04/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MADISON - Wisconsin's legislative Republicans said they wanted to work with Democrats in writing the newest mining bill.

Monday, they said they've compromised on many big concerns from Democrats.

GOP leaders in both the Senate and Assembly introduced amendments to the propsed mining bill.

They're confident the changes will strengthen environmental protections even more.

"Two things have to be preserved. One is Wisconsin's high environmental standards, regulations, and limitations. This is a work that's been ongoing for decades here in Wisconsin. We're very proud of our environmental heritage here in the state. But also that there be certainty for an applicant, that they're going to get an answer," said Hazelhurst Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany.

One major change forces the state DNR to communicate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps had voiced concerns about the quickened permitting timeline proposed in the bill.

Democratic Senator Tim Cullen introduced his own mining legislation last week.

He said Monday that the Republican changes made the proposal slightly better, but there was a long way to go.

The new amendments will be officially introduced and voted on Wednesday.

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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

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The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
Schulz is the former school board president.

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Motorola Solutions Inc. Vice President Ali Kapadia said that the telecommunications company was offering the reward money.

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Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, said U.S. District Judge David Bunning knew he was going to send Davis to jail on Thursday before he heard one word of her testimony.

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