Wisconsin Senator Tom Tiffany

MARQUETTE, MI--   State Senator Ed McBroom wants to hear from businesses having problems with rail service in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. 

Two meetings are scheduled next week for customers who are encountering a lack of service in the region.

“Well, we have businesses reporting an unwillingness from the rail companies to work with them. Rail is going right by but the company doesn’t want to stop or wants to charge enormous fees,” McBroom says.    

MADISON, WI (AP)--   Four years after relaxing the state's iron mining laws, Wisconsin Republicans are pushing to lift a moratorium on copper and gold mining — a ban Gov. Scott Walker helped impose as a legislator. 

Wisconsin law requires sulfide mining applicants to prove a similar mine has operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without polluting. No companies have provided any examples.

Legislator wants to lift Wisconsin mining moratorium

Jan 13, 2017

MADISON, WI (WPR)--   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.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   A Wisconsin legislator has proposed a bill that would scale back local governments' ability to regulate sand mines and blasting. 

Republican Senator Tom Tiffany's bill would ensure local governments can't regulate sand mines using their so-called police powers — their ability to regulate health, safety and welfare. They could still regulate the mines through zoning ordinances, however.

The measure also would prohibit locals from regulating blasting activities.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   A bipartisan group of lawmakers is developing an alternative to barring the public from 3,500 acres of forest around a proposed mine site in northern Wisconsin. 

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the lawmakers are working on a compromise that would create a 300-foot perimeter around mine-related activities and a 50-foot buffer along an access road.

Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, says it could be introduced as early as this week, though Gogebic Taconite spokesman Bob Seitz has already called it unworkable.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   The author of a bill that would restrict public access to a northern Wisconsin mine site says he doesn't have the votes to pass it right now. 

Senator Tom Tiffany, a Hazelhurst Republican, says the bill is meant to protect mine workers and regulators from protesters. Opponents counter the bill goes too far and punishes law-abiding hunters, hikers and anglers.

The bill was on the fast track but Republican Senate leaders chose not to include it on Tuesday's floor calendar.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would close thousands of acres around a potential mine site in far northern Wisconsin. 

The Senate mining committee approved the bill on a 5-2 vote Thursday morning. The vote clears the way for a full vote in the Senate.  GOP leaders say the bill could come before the body this month.

The measure would close about 3,500 acres around the site to public recreation.

Gary Porter / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON, WI (AP)--   A Republican lawmaker says the Legislature must close the woods around a northern Wisconsin mine site to protect miners and public workers from protesters.   

Senator Tom Tiffany has proposed a bill that would close around 4,000 acres in the Penokee Hills while Gogebic Taconite is exploring digging a iron mine there. The land around the site is part of the state managed forest program, which ensures it remains open for recreation.