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Fwd: Wisconsin Senate strengthens Moratorium bill




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The Wisconsin State Senate has strengthened SB3--
the Sulfide Minng Moratorium Bill, on a vote of 27-5.

The bill states that no sulfide mine can open in
Wisconsin without companies showing that
one similar mine in the US or Canada has been
closed for ten years without causing pollution.
The Assembly had passed Amendment 4, which allowed
the DNR to consider only mines that had violated federal,
state or provincial laws--omitting mines that had
polluted but not been cited.

At 1:30 pm, it was clear that the Senate would close the
loophole in the bill, by amending Assembly Amendment 4
with Senate Amendment 1.
The vote was CLOSE, 17-15, with all Democrats (except
George and Breske) voting for the new language,
and all Republicans (except Cowles, Weeden, and
Schultz) voting against it.  The Senate is evenly split
by party.  On the final vote on the Senate Amendment 1,
only Sens, Welch, Panzer, Farrow, Fitzgerald,
and Huelsman voted against it--all Republicans.

Senate Amendment 1 clarified Assembly Amendment 4,
by allowing mines to be considered solely on the
basis of pollution, not just citations.  The key part read:
The department (DNR) may not base its determination
under sub., (2) (a) or (b) on a mining operation unless the
department determines, based on relevant data from
groundwater or surface water monitoring, that the mining
operation has not caused significant environmental pollution,
as defined in s. 293.01 (4), from acid drainage at the tailings
site or at the mine site or from the release of heavy metals."

The bill now goes to a Senate-Assembly joint committee
to work out a compromise version.  Mining opponents should
be on the alert for nw efforts to undermine the bill.

World Watershed Educational Project
http://www.alphacdc.com/treaty/wwep.html
mtn@igc.apc.org
800-445-8615


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