For Immediate Release
November 3, 2017
Contact: Rep. James Edming
Rep. Edming Backs the Mining for America Act
MADISON – Yesterday, Rep. James Edming (R-Glen Flora) proudly cast his vote in favor of Assembly Bill (AB) 499, also known as the Mining for America Act. This legislation reforms Wisconsin’s nonferrous mining laws while maintaining current environmental protections. AB 499 ends the 20-year moratorium on the mining of nonferrous metals such as gold, silver, copper, and nickel.
“Mining is an important part of the history of our state,” said Rep. Edming. “The miner on our state flag and our state nickname the “Badger State” both honor mining’s importance to the history of Wisconsin. With these reforms, mining can also be an important part of Wisconsin’s future and provide a major boost to the economy of northern Wisconsin.”
Under AB 499, Wisconsin’s current strong environmental protections are maintained. This bill does not give mining permit applications automatic approval. The Department of Natural Resources will review each mining permit application and determine if mining can be done safely at the site at which the permit is being sought. During this review process there will be multiple opportunities for public input. The legislation requires that at least two public hearings are held before the mining permit is issued. Also, additional challenges are allowed if a permit is granted.
“Many young people are leaving northern Wisconsin for better economic opportunities, said Rep. Edming. “The reforms made by AB 499 will make it possible for good paying mining jobs to return to northern Wisconsin. These jobs, as well as the other economic development that will occur surrounding any mining operation, will provide opportunities that incentivize our youth to stay and start their families in northern Wisconsin.”
AB 499 was approved by the State Assembly and now moves on the State Senate for further consideration.