Resource professor Al Gedicks lays out the facts:
So far, the industry has not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water, including the recently closed (1997) Flambeau copper sulfide mine in Ladysmith. This mine is the subject of a Clean Water Act lawsuit for discharging pollutants into the Flambeau River far in excess of applicable water quality standards.
Wisconsin would do well to recognize that the existing level of protection for our precious water, wildlife and community health was made possible by an engaged citizen and tribal base that has insisted on high quality laws and their implementation.
Leaving decisions about mining regulation in the hands of mining industry experts, as [Gov. Scott] Walker has proposed, can only lead to the contamination and cleanup costs that the [National Wildlife Federation] study warns us may occur if we allow our laws to be weakened.
Don't expect Wisconsin citizens and tribes to allow this to happen without a fight.