Dane County lawmakers have proposed a change to an antiquated law that currently allows nearly 100 locations in Dane County to become a mining site with little input from residents.
Originally authored in 1969, the current law exempts locations in Dane County from permitting rules that apply to other new proposed mines or quarries. If passed, the proposed law would require 34 of the nearly 100 sites to go through the standard permitting process. Many of these locations are currently farm fields or green spaces. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi made the announcement of the proposal at Pheasant Branch Conservancy, near one such site in the Town of Springfield within the Upper Sugar River Watershed
An earlier proposal by Dane County was turned down by the Dane County Towns Association. County Supervisor Patrick Miles (District 34-McFarland) hopes this amended proposal addresses the concerns of the DCTA by specifically detailing what defines an inactive mine. The amended proposal defines this as, “[A] mineral extraction operation shall be considered active and retain nonconforming use status if the site has and maintains a current nonmetallic mining reclamation permit meeting all of the requirements of Chapter 74 as of [effective date].”
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