Senator Jauch Vying for Greater Public Disclosure in Mining Legislation

By Ivory Hecker

June 26, 2011 Updated Jun 26, 2011 at 11:10 PM CDT

HAYWARD, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - While Gogebic Taconite waits on state legislation before starting work on a new mine in Northwest Wisconsin, Senator Bob Jauch says he's hoping new legislation puts the regulation of mining into the hands of the public.

The Wisconsin legislature has not taken up any new bill regarding the mining process since a previous proposed bill was introduced with significant input from GTAC.

Jauch says he's calling upon legislative leaders to establish a legislative council committee that would facilitate a public discussion about how mining permits should be reviewed.

He says the public needs to be a part of making sure they understand a process that would protect the public and the environment if mining permits are submitted.

He says the public – not mining companies – should be writing the laws that regulate mining.

"I am convinced that if we have three or four months, we could come up with a far better bill than the one that was written by and for the company," said Jauch. "I'm gonna do everything I can to continue to have a public discussion rather than these private secret deals that leave the public confused and anxious."

Jauch says the proposed mine in the Penokee Mountain Range of Ashland and Iron counties would indeed create jobs, but, he says, the environment would bear the burden.

By Ivory Hecker