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12/11/2017: Governor Gives Corporate Mining Polluters an Early Gift

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), 608-213-6972 (mobile/text), or ryan@conservationvoters.org

Governor Gives Corporate Mining Polluters an Early Gift
Signing of the Industrial Acid Mining Bill Will Put Public Health at Risk for Generations

RHINELANDER – Gov. Scott Walker today signed away Wisconsin’s pristine lakes, rivers, beautiful places, and public health to America’s most toxic industry – metallic sulfide mining.

This afternoon, to the delight of polluting special interests and their surrogates in state government, Walker signed into law Sen. Tom Tiffany’s Industrial Acid Mining Bill. The bill repeals the gold standard Prove It First mining law, an environmental protector that has stopped toxic mines from proliferating across the state for two decades.

Rather than face the communities put at risk by this legislation, Gov. Walker chose to sign the bill in Rhinelander, in Sen. Tiffany’s home district. Sulfide mining pollution contains – among other toxins – arsenic, sulfuric acid, mercury, lead, and asbestos. Sen. Tiffany, who has authored some of the most anti-environmental legislation in Wisconsin history, authored the bill with the help of mining lobbyists and the cheerleading of the increasingly ideological and radical special interest lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Executive Director Kerry Schumann issued this statement:

“This legislation will put the health of generations of Wisconsinites at risk. By signing this legislation into law, Gov. Walker is signing the death certificate for the Prove It First mining law, one of the nation’s strongest protections against America’s most toxic industry, metallic sulfide mining. To make matters worse, this law is only one of the many egregious attacks on Wisconsin’s environment currently being undertaken by the Walker Administration and its allies. A bill to eliminate all state standards for clean air, a rollback of wetlands protections across Wisconsin, and the looming threat of the $3 billion Foxconn disaster to our Great Lakes are just three examples of the cumulative and deliberate destruction of Wisconsin’s once sterling reputation for conservation. It is a sad day in Wisconsin’s history and a sad day for the people of Wisconsin – both those living today and those yet to be born.”

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Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources.

You can follow legislation impacting natural resources on our Conservation Vote Tracker, a real-time accountability tool that provides you with a complete picture of what conservation issues are in play and how legislators are performing: http://conservationvoters.org/vote-tracker/