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Wisconsin Wildlife Federation urging repeal of law green lighting iron ore mine

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation says lawmakers should repeal last year's state law designed to speed up Gogebic Taconite's new iron ore mine.  

Group director George Meyer said the state has, "an unreasonably short permit processing deadline." That's after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it could not work together with the DNR on the state and federal environmental impact statements for the project.  

The corps cited differing review requirements -- and the DNR's Ann Coakley told the Wisconsin Radio Network right after Christmas that it could delay the permit process. She said the federal impact statement might come a year after the state's document.

Tuesday, Gogebic Taconite's Bob Seitz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Meyer's trying to indicate that the corps will never work with his company on the project -- and it's not true.  

Meanwhile, Seitz says Gogebic may file a formal application for the mine by late this year -- but he and the DNR both say that's optimistic.  

The DNR said it needs 11 clarifications before it would let the firm test underground rock for the project -- and the state wants 29 clarifications before approving a stormwater handling permit.

Wednesday, the state Legislature's Joint Finance panel will consider hiring an extra DNR hydrogeologist for the project.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)