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DNR sends list of requirements for proposed Gogebic Taconite mine

ASHLAND, WI (WTAQ) - Gogebic Taconite has received a long list of DNR requirements it must meet before it can open a new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.

Officials say they'll need dozens of studies to determine the mine's possible effects in a number of areas that include groundwater, air quality, and a loss of wetlands.

DNR project manager Larry Lynch says Gogebic could file an application for a state mining permit in about a year, assuming all of the data is submitted. Lynch says it could open the door to a DNR decision by mid-2016 at the earliest.

The company says the timetable is in the realm of possibility. But former DNR Secretary George Meyer disagrees.

Meyer, who now heads the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the approval process will take much longer than some legislative supporters were hoping. Meyer said it could take up to five years before a permit can be granted -- not the two year window that some lawmakers were claiming.

Once the DNR gets all the data in the application, it would have 420 days to make a decision on a permit. That deadline was set in a new mining law passed by the governor and Legislature a year ago.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)