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UW-L’s Gedicks resuming fight over mining Wisconsin, as Republicans want to end moratorium



Moratorium requires mining companies to prove not polluting groundwater 

Republicans in Wisconsin want to end a mining moratorium and a UW-La Crosse professor emeritus shows no signs of giving up his decades-long fight.

Al Gedicks is back at it, fighting those who want to end the mining moratorium, which requires companies prove they can run a sulfide mine without polluting the groundwater.

That, however, is not possible, argued Gedicks, a sociology professor and anti-mining activist, at a public hearing Thursday.

“The mining industry still cannot demonstrate that sulfide mining can be done without polluting the environment,” he argued. “So, they want to abolish the law.
This legislation does exactly what they want.”

Gedicks has been on the frontlines of the battle against environmental damage done by mining. He heads a group that successfully sued the Flambeau Mining Company in federal court back in 2009 for polluting a small stream and the Flambeau River.

He also has an arrest record to show for his past efforts and that was pointed out during the hearing. Gedicks clashed with Republican state Sen. Tom Tiffany, who attacked Gedicks on his history of protest.

Gedicks responded this way: “This is not a trial of my personal background, which I’m quite willing to discuss in any other circumstance. This discussion should be about the mining moratorium.

Gedicks continued: “If you are so desperate to defend a bill that has no scientific or factual credibility, you have to go to the depths of deviousness to bring up something that happened 30 years ago, under highly questionable circumstances, this is an eloquent testimony to the bankrupting of this entire proceeding.”

Wisconsin’s mining moratorium was enacted nearly 20 years ago with bipartisan support and signed into law by then governor Tommy Thompson.

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