UPDATE: Wisconsin committee OKs sand mine bill

UPDATED Wednesday, March 5, 2014 --- 1:32 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would prohibit local government officials from imposing new regulations on sand mines.

The Senate's mining committee passed the measure 3-2 on Wednesday. The vote clears the way for a full vote in the Senate.

The bill would bar local governments from imposing new zoning ordinances that are more restrictive than existing zoning rules on existing operations. The proposal also would exempt sand mines from any other new ordinance or license requirement if the mines are operating within the year preceding the ordinance or requirement's adoption.

Democratic Sens. Bob Jauch and John Lehman voted against the measure. Jauch contended the bill amounts to a pre-emption of local officials' authority and gives all the legal advantages to the sand mine industry.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 1:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate's mining committee is set to vote on a Republican bill that would shield existing sand mines from new ordinances.

Sen. Tom Tiffany's proposal would prohibit local governments from imposing new zoning ordinances that are more restrictive than existing zoning rules on existing operations. The bill also would exempt sand mines from any other new ordinance or license requirement if the mines are operating within the year preceding the ordinance or requirement's adoption.

The Senate and Assembly mining committees held a public hearing on the measure Monday. Tiffany, who chairs the Senate mining committee, has scheduled a vote on the bill for Wednesday.

Approval would clear the way for a vote in the full Senate.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, March 3, 2014 --- 12:53 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Republican bill that would exempt existing sand mines from new regulations is getting a cool reception from minority Democrats on the Legislature's mining committees.

Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany's measure would prohibit local governments from imposing new zoning ordinances or any other new ordinance on existing operations.

The Assembly and Senate mining committees held a joint hearing on the bill Monday. The panels' Democrats complained the bill would prohibit local governments from regulating new mining technology and imposing new health regulations if studies show the mines contribute to lung disease.

Tiffany told the Democrats other state laws would prevent environmental damage and there's no evidence sand mines cause lung disease. He also insisted the bill is designed to prevent local officials from driving existing operations out of business.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Monday, March 3, 2014 --- 9:23 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's mining committees are set to take comments on a bill that would shield existing sand mines from new regulations.

Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany's measure would prohibit local governments from imposing new zoning ordinances on sand mines that are more restrictive than current ordinances. It also would protect sand mines from any other new local ordinance or license requirement if they're operating within the year before the changes are imposed.

Tiffany says the bill is meant to ensure local governments that don't support sand mines don't force them out of business with excessive regulations. The Sierra Club, however, has accused Tiffany of selling out local governments to the mining industry.

The Assembly and Senate mining committee are set to hold a joint public hearing on the bill Monday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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