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Sand mining bill needs changes

Sand mining bill needs changes

10/28/2013 UPDATE:

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ The chief Senate sponsor of a bill that would weaken local control over Wisconsin's booming sand mining industry says his legislation needs work, and he doesn't expect the Senate will take it up before next year.

The bill is supported by companies that mine and process silica sand used by the oil and gas drilling industry for hydraulic fracturing.

Republican Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that local government officials have raised valid objections that need to be addressed. He declined to say whether the Senate mining committee, which he chairs, will vote before year's end.

The bill's prospects are also uncertain in the Assembly, where Speaker Robin Vos, a Rochester Republican, said last week that his chamber won't hold a vote until next spring at the earliest.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A Republican state senator is defending his proposal to scale back local governments' authority to regulate sand mines in front of a legislative committee.

Sen. Tom Tiffany's bill would prohibit locals from regulating sand mines under so-called police powers as well as ban them from regulating blasting, setting environmental standards and collecting advance fees for road damage. The locals could still impose regulations under their zoning authority.

Tiffany, a Hazelhurst Republican, told the Senate mining committee during a public hearing Thursday he believes the bill will create regulatory uniformity so the mining industry isn't dealing with hundreds of what he called mini-Departments of Natural Resources.

Sen. Bob Jauch, a Poplar Democrat, told Tiffany the bill guts the concept of local control.

The committee isn't expected to vote on the bill.

 

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