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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

 4:31 PM 

Debate on the bill shifts to wetlands language

With the first simple amendment, the body is debating whether the portion on whether wetlands impacts should be presumed necessary or unnecessary. Democrats are arguing that the portion in the bill is a clear change to environmental regulation.

The current amendment under debate would eliminate the lines in the bill that note that iron mining will have adverse impacts on wetlands because of the fixed location of iron ore deposits.

"It's one of those cases where you're really limiting the discretion of the DNR," said Sen. Robert Jauch, D-Poplar.

Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, argued that his provision simply reflects current administrative rules. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald clarified, saying that no one believes a mining project won't impact environmental standards, but that the bill still requires standards for handling those impacts.



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