Environment
2:59 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

State Senate Will Not Vote Tuesday on Limiting Access to Proposed Mine Site

The author of a bill restricting how close people can get to a proposed mine in northern Wisconsin says he does not have enough votes.

In recent weeks, a Senate committee seemed to put the proposal on a fast-track toward approval, because of several protesters who confronted mine workers. They're helping the company Gogebic Taconite test the rock in the Penokee Hills. The proposed mine is a divisive plan because of the potential impact on the air and water-rich region.

Under a deal the owner has with the state, the public can use the land in exchange for the owner paying lower taxes. It appeared the Republican plan to restrict access might have kept the taxes low. The Senate plans to meet Tuesday, but the item is not on the agenda.

Sponsor, GOP Sen. Tom Tiffany says while he does not have enough support at this time to pass the bill, he will continue seeking a solution.

Gogebic Taconite wants to dig a four mile long iron mine and is testing the rock to calculate what the project might entail.

Several groups continue opposing the plan, including tribal members who have set up camp in the nearby forest.