Despite public opposition, Governor Scott Walker has signed Senator Tom Tiffany’s Acid Mining Bill officially stripping Wisconsin of its decades-old, bipartisan “Prove it First” mining protections and opening the door for sulfide mines in multiple Wisconsin communities.
“In 1998, Walker voted in favor of strong protections from sulfide mining pollution as part of a nearly unanimous bipartisan coalition, including Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson. Nothing has changed among Wisconsin voters, three quarters of whom want to keep Wisconsin’s Prove it First protections from mining pollution, according to River Alliance of Wisconsin polls. But Governor Walker has changed his stance. He’s on the side of out-of-state mining companies,” statedRiver Alliance executive director Raj Shukla.
River Alliance of Wisconsin will support local governments as they take action to protect their communities from the risks of mining pollution. This especially applies to Marathon and Taylor counties where Canadian mining company Aquila Resources has publically shared plans to implement sulfide mines.
Shukla stated, “Small, rural communities now face a uniquely dangerous threat to their water and economies. It’s a big fight, but these communities are already organizing to protect themselves from mining projects opening in their backyards. The River Alliance of Wisconsin will be there to support municipalities that must contend with money and power of multi-national corporations and state officials who refuse to listen.”
“Laws that protected Wisconsin waters for two decades worked. Wisconsin was safe from an industry that could not show that a mine anywhere in the country could operate without polluting. Had mining been able to, there would already be sulfide mines in Wisconsin. Sadly, Governor Walker has reversed course at the urging of corporate interests unconcerned with the local environment and local economies. The Governor has welcomed the most toxic industry in America, sulfide mining, to Wisconsin without offering local communities meaningful assurances that they’ll be safe,” Shukla concluded.
About the River Alliance of Wisconsin:
Formed in 1993, River Alliance of Wisconsin is a statewide nonprofit, non-partisan citizen advocacy organization that empowers people to protect and restore Wisconsin waters. The organization’s membership includes more than 2,500 individuals and businesses and more than 80 local watershed groups – one of the largest memberships of statewide water groups in the country. For more information, visit www.wisconsinrivers.org