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Legislator wants to lift mining moratorium

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A legislator plans to introduce a bill this session that would lift Wisconsin’s mining moratorium.

Gov. Tommy Thompson signed the moratorium into law in 1998. It requires companies to prove a sulfide mine can run for a decade without polluting state waters and a sulfide mine has been closed in the state for a decade without polluting the water.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported Tuesday that Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst plans to introduce a bill this session repealing the moratorium. He says the Flambeau copper mine near Ladysmith proves a sulfide mine can operate safely, making the moratorium moot.

That mine operated for four years. A federal judge found the mine discharged copper into state waters but it was minimal. An appellate court reversed the judgment in 2013.

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