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Rep. Duffy: Speed up mining review


UNDATED (WSAU) U-S House Republican Sean Duffy wants both the state-and-federal governments to get going on environmental studies for the proposed iron ore mine near Hurley.

Wisconsin Assembly Republicans say they want a pass a bill by the end of the year that would speed up the approval process of getting state permits for that mine and others. Duffy, who recently moved to the Wausau area, lived for a number of years in Ashland County where Gogebic Taconite wants to develop the state’s largest mining project ever. He says he knows first-hand that the area desperately needs the 700 permanent jobs the mine would provide – but not if means quote, “the mass pollution of our beautiful Great Lakes.”

An Assembly panel recently held a public hearing in Hurley where Gogebic Taconite said its mine would not hurt the environment, while the Bad River Indian Tribe feared major water pollution. Duffy says the government studies would tell the full story, and he wants that story as soon as possible. Duffy also said he would help guide the mining project through the federal regulatory process, once it gets moving. Gogebic Taconite says the $1.5-billion mine is on hold until the state Legislature and Governor Scott Walker speed up the permit process.