January 15, 2012 by Barbara With
1. AB426 violates Anishinaabe Treaty Rights that require the state of Wisconsin to consult with the tribes on issues that affect their land. The EPA confirms their right to regulate water and air quality on ceded land that affects their reservation. Bad River Tribe has stated the mine will destroy their wild rice, pollute their air and poison their fish.
2. AB426 was written by members of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Commission, and designed for the sole benefit of GTAC mining. All but one of the Republican members of the Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee are ALEC members.
3. AB426 silences the voice of the public by removing contested case hearings and limits public hearings to one as opposed to three in current law.
4. AB426 allows mining corporations to dump toxic mine waste into sensitive wetlands and floodplains and contaminate the groundwater of neighboring properties.
5. AB426 would allow GTAC to use as much as 41 million gallons of water each day, more than the daily water use of the entire city of Madison.
6. AB426 violates the historic Great Lakes Compact by allowing groundwater pumping that will cause environmental harm.
7. AB426 would allow the Gogebic Taconite mine to produce massive amounts of waste that would be placed directly into waterways, and relaxes the information a company must give to DNR for their mining plans.
8. AB426 eliminates accountability and scientific decisions for permitting a mine and requires DNR to issue a permit for a mine’s water withdrawals even if a company can’t protect the public, waterfront owners and the environment from damage, as long as the DNR determines that the public benefits of a mine “exceed any injury to public rights.”
9. AB426 will allow GTAC to destroy wild rice beds, pollute fish with mercury poisoning, and permanently destroy miles of world-class trout streams that can never be replaced.
10. AB426 changes definitions in the current mining moratorium to make sure that law would not apply to mining even if sulfide-containing materials are found.
Call your legislator and tell them, Kill the Bill!
Sources: Clean Wisconsin, AB426 & Bad River Tribe