Wisconsin senator backs off on sand mine changes

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Republican senator has pulled back on his plans to scale back local governments' ability to regulate sand mines.

Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst introduced a bill in October that would have prohibited locals from establishing mining regulations under their authority to regulate health, safety and welfare, passing their own water and air quality standards and passing their own blasting ordinances.

But opponents ripped the bill as an attack on local control.

Tiffany introduced a new proposal on Wednesday that would shield existing sand mines from any new zoning, health, safety, welfare or license changes that are more restrictive than what they're currently operating under. Gone are the prohibitions on local environmental standards and blasting ordinances.

Tiffany said he hopes to get a public hearing on the measure next week.

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