Friday, February 17, 2012

Feds Have Said Mining Bill Changes Could Delay Permit Approvals

The US Army Corps of Engineers told the state in great detail last year that material changes to mining permit review procedures could lead to significant delay in getting mining applications approved and work underway in Wisconsin because application approvals are granted under a joint review by the DNR and the Corps working together.

The Corps said material changes could result in a) revocation of the federally-granted "general permit" under which the joint process takes place, b) re-issuance of that permit, and c) separate review procedures by the Corps and the DNR triggered by the state's new, and altered procedures - - all of which means an iron ore mine up north that GOP are rushing to enable will be slowed considerably, and with no guarantee that mandatory federal approvals under the US C;lean Water Act will ever happen.

The Assembly, and now Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald, are ignoring that reality and advice to slow down and think it all through: you can read the Corps' letter at a pdf link, here.

The letter was sent to the Governor and key legislators indicating that Scott Fitzgerald's arrogant, single-minded push to approve the Assembly bill is all politics and theater for conservative campaign donors and advocacy groups who would welcome a confrontation - - unneeded as it is - - with the federal government.

And without consideration for the taxpayers, who will foot the bill when the bill is challenged in court for any number of reasons, including its overt and willful dismissal from the process of the Bad River band and their treaty rights from the bill drafting, while ind\stry reps were at the table crafting legislation in their own interest.

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