Senate Mining Bill Released Today

By KBJR News 1

February 13, 2012 Updated Feb 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) -- The senate version of the much anticipated Wisconsin Mining bill was introduced today, that's according to Senate Select Committee chairman Neal Kedzie.

Kedzie says the bill is very preliminary and is a good starting point for lawmakers and the public.

Despite different bills, criticism has come about from Clean Wisconsin government relations director, Amber Meyer Smith who says the bills are both too similar and doesn't help the environment.

“We have repeatedly said that the Assembly open-pit mining bill must be scrapped as it puts the profits of out-of-state mining companies ahead of the health of Wisconsin residents and the quality of our environment. Unfortunately, the environmental rollbacks contained in the Senate bill are practically identical to those in the Assembly bill."

The Senate bill keeps the year time line but allows contested case hearings.

Kedzie has asked senators and their staff to hold February 17Th open for a public hearing. That meeting will be held on Friday at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where members of the senate committee will field questions.