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.
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.