For immediate release: February 6, 2013
Contact: Anne Sayers, Program Director, 608-208-1129 (direct), 608-658-0186 (cell), anneconservationvoters [dot] org
Still Extreme, One-Sided and a Threat to Public Health
Open-Pit Mining Bill Moves Forward
Madison – Still containing provisions to harm water resources, public health, and public input opportunities, the Open-Pit Mining Bill (SB 1/AB 1) was voted out of the Assembly and Senate Mining Committees today. Amendments adopted to the bill fail to address the egregious environmental and public health protection rollbacks.
“The amendments succeeded only in solidifying the Open-Pit Mining Bill as a flawed, extreme one-sided bill. It threatens our families with arsenic, lead and mercury and it is still strongly opposed by the citizens of Wisconsin,” said Anne Sayers, Program Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.
The amendments offered by Senator Tiffany and Representative Suder are without substance and in some cases are downright laughable. Take for instance the criteria DNR is instructed to use relating to impacts on public health, safety, and welfare. The original bill stated that DNR may issue a permit for a ferrous mine if "the proposed mining is not likely to result in substantial adverse impacts to public health, safety, and welfare" (AB 1/SB 1, page 135). The amendments modify that provision to require that the "proposed mining is reasonably certain not to result in substantial adverse impacts to public health, safety, or welfare: (WI Legislative Council Memo, page 4).