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Lawmakers to tour potential mining site


UNDATED (WRN)  Several members from the state Assembly are planning to take a tour Friday of the possible location of an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. At least a dozen lawmakers are planning to take the tour being organized by Freshman Assembly Republican Mary Czaja (R-Irma).

Gogebic Taconite is exploring the possibility of creating an open pit iron ore mine at a location spanning Iron and Ashland counties. However, the company says it will only pursue plans for the mine if lawmakers pass legislation that creates more certainty in the state permitting process.

The bill, which was the subject of a 12 hour long public hearing at the state Capitol on Wednesday, would set clear time tables for approving a permit, loosen environmental rules, and limit public challenges during the DNR’s review process. Majority Republicans have indicated they would like to approve the measure sometime this spring.