To read the Sierra Club and WRPC briefing paper on the mining moratorium law, please click on the following link: Mining Moratorium Briefing Paper
March 23, 2017
Dear WRPC Member and Friends of the Menominee River,
On December 28, 2016, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved two of the four required permits for the Back Forty proposed sulfide mine – the Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining Permit and the Michigan Air Use Permit. The DEQ is still reviewing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the wetlands permit.
November 19, 2014
Dear WRPC Member,
The New York Times editorial (08/31/2014) said it all: “How to Buy a Mine in Wisconsin.” The editorial referred to the passage of the controversial iron mining bill (ACT 1) and Gogebic Taconite’s (GTac) secret $700,000 contribution to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, an organization directed by the governor’s campaign adviser. “The mine legislation was bad enough from an environmental point of view,” noted the NYT. “It allows the operator to fill streams with mine waste, eliminates public hearings and reduces the taxes the operator would have to pay.” With the recent disclosure of GTac’s secret donation, says the NYT “It turns out to be even more shocking from an ethical viewpoint.”
by Dave Blouin and Al Gedicks
In their May 7 opinion piece “Unlock minerals in Wisconsin,” representatives of the Wisconsin and National Mining Associations grossly misrepresent the facts to sway the public in favor of mining law reforms for gold and base metals. Their rhetoric is designed to hide the fact that their No. 1 goal is to repeal Wisconsin’s landmark “prove it first” Mining Moratorium Law.
An unlikely coalition has lined up against mining companies and the Republicans who love them.
by David Giffey
Mark your calendar for noon Saturday, January 26. That’s the scheduled birth of a “new coalition” of Native American tribes, environmental and sport fishing groups, and friends, who will gather at the capitol in Madison in a statewide demonstration opposing another attempt to destroy Wisconsin’s prized moratorium on metallic sulfide mining. Your presence is welcome. No RSVP required.
The January 26 demonstration will be “a very powerful counterweight” to new legislation seen as paving a way to eventually destroy Wisconsin’s 1998 “prove it first” law, says Al Gedicks, of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council . Republican leaders including Governor Walker have said they’ll introduce The Bad River Watershed Destruction Act (that’s its popular title) this month. The bill is also called Gogebic Taconite’s (GTac) Strip Mine legislation.
Mining industry lobbyists are urging the Legislature to repeal Wisconsin’s landmark mining moratorium, or “prove it first” law, by pointing to the “success” of the partially-reclaimed Flambeau metallic sulfide mine in Ladysmith.
There is no scientific evidence to support such claims.
By Al Gedicks and Eric Hansen
If no mining company has been able to meet the standards of Wisconsin’s mining moratorium law, it does not mean the law is flawed and in need of revision. It means the mining industry’s claim of being able to mine safely lacks scientific merit.
Gogebic Taconite may have temporarily abandoned its proposed open pit iron mine at the pristine headwaters of the Bad River, but company spokesman Bob Seitz says the firm still wants Wisconsin’s mining law changed. Efforts are under way to develop a new “consensus” on legislation that failed to pass the Senate in the last session.