The party-line vote by the State Assembly to approve AB 426, the bill that obliterates protections for rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater and local communities from the impacts of mining, was indeed a shaft to the people of Wisconsin. And while the bill is aimed at clearing the way for an enormous open pit mine in the pristine Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior, the new law would apply to any iron mine anywhere in the state. Before this law is finalized, however, the State Senate must also pass it.
Your help is needed now, before the Senate decides if they’re going to push the Assembly’s awful bill or write one of their own. A number of Senators have publically stated that they would not support a bill that goes as far as AB 426, but there are other Senators who have not been quite so clear. They need to hear from you, as constituents in their districts, that the Assembly bill is flat out unacceptable.
The Senate is under pressure to finish up a mining bill before March 15, the last day for a vote this year. The best scenario would be no bill to vote on at all, so let’s all make sure that happens!
Attacks on All Sides :
In addition to the undermining of river, lake and wetland protections from mining, the bills upending the permit process for activities in waterways and filling of wetlands are still looming. AB 421/SB 326 giving automatic approvals for development in waterways has not yet come up for a vote, and neither has AB 463/SB 368, the go-ahead-and-fill-it wetlands bill. Could it be the legislature has been listening? These bills are also up against the deadline of March 15 as the last day for a vote, so we need to keep up the pressure.
There are rumors that some legislators are considering amendments to the wetlands bill, which reverses the long-held practice of reviewing development proposals to first seek to avoid filling a wetland altogether, then to look at how to minimize impacts to a wetland as much as possible, and only as a last resort, to allow filling in exchange for “mitigation,” the restoration of another degraded wetland or creating a new one somewhere else. Mitigation is a last resort because like it or not, man just can’t recreate what took nature thousands of years to build. A simple message to legislators is that truly avoiding and minimizing wetland impacts needs to remain a priority.
Conservation Lobby Day on
Mining in Wisconsin – Stop the Mining Bill!
Conservation Lobby Day is our chance to scrap this bill once and for all – and to remind our legislators that we expect them to stand up for the laws that protect our families. Risking exposure to toxic substance like lead, arsenic and mercury for the benefit of an out-of-state mining developer is not an option.
February 16th, 2012
Madison Concourse Hotel and State Capitol Building
The fight is far from over. Governor Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald want this bill passed – quickly and quietly – and with no changes that will upset their well-funded campaign contributors, like out-of-state mine developer Chris Cline.
Sign up today and be there on February 16th to tell YOUR State Senator: “Scrap the Open-Pit Mining Bill – Once and for all!” .
View this excellent ad against the mining bill from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters(our