Committee to vote on lifting mining moratorium

Committee to vote on lifting mining moratorium

A legislative committee is set to approve a bill next week that would lift Wisconsin’s moratorium on sulfide mining.

The Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry is slated to meet Wednesday to vote on the bill. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Tom Tiffany, is the bill’s chief author.

Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill in 1998 requiring sulfide mining applicants to prove a North American sulfide mine has operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without polluting before they can get a permit in the state. No companies have ever come forward with examples of mines that fit those two standards.

Tiffany’s bill would eliminate the requirement. He says mining could help northern Wisconsin’s economy.

Committee approval would clear the way for a full Senate vote.