The enactment of Wisconsin’s hallmark Mining Moratorium Law (also known as “Prove It First”) in 1998 was a triumph for those concerned about protecting the state’s drinking water reserves, lakes and streams from adverse mining impacts. There are many more laws on the books in Wisconsin, however, that are a real give-away to the mining industry.
For a summary of Wisconsin mining laws enacted prior to 2007 (most of which still exist as of this July 2013 posting), please click on the below link that will take you to a chapter from the book that Roscoe Churchill and I wrote about the Flambeau Mine: The Buzzards Have Landed! – The Real Story of the Flambeau Mine:
The following chapters from Roscoe and my book contain additional information relevant to the debate over mining law reform in Wisconsin:
- Chapter 33_Existing Statutes Call for Non-Degradation of Wisconsin’s Waters
- Chapter 124_Using the Public Trust Doctrine to Help Change Wisconsin’s Weak Mining Laws
Prior to 2013, Wisconsin’s metallic mining code was comprehensive for both iron mining and other types of metallic mining (copper, gold, silver …). In March of 2013, however, a new law was enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature to create a separate regulatory scheme for iron mining. You can read about how this law guts environmental protections by clicking on the below link:
For more information about Wisconsin’s mining laws and mining laws in the Great Lakes region, I refer you to a comparative analysis of mining laws in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario issued by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in early 2012. The expert report, prepared by Attorney Michelle Halley in her capacity as the Lake Superior Manager of Conservation Programs at NWF’s Great Lakes Regional Resource Center, is a wealth of information:
Sulfide Mining Regulation in the Great Lakes Region – A Comparative Analysis of Sulfide Mining Regulation in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario, National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Regional Resource Center, Ann Arbor, MI, March 2012