Wisconsin residents sue over mine sampling

CREATED Mar 12, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A group of northern Wisconsin residents has filed a lawsuit alleging state regulators should have required a mining company to get a permit before it launched exploratory excavations.
   
Gogebic Taconite wants to dig a 4 1/2-mile long iron mine near Mellen. The company spent about 10 days on exploratory excavations last month. The Department of Natural Resources told the company it didn't need any permits to conduct the work because the ground is frozen.
   
The residents allege the company needed a storm water permit and allowing the project to proceed without one meant the company didn't have to employ environmental safeguards to mitigate potential pollution.
   
A spokeswoman for the state Justice Department, which is representing the DNR, declined comment.