Hundreds turn out for northern Wisconsin mine hearing

Published On: Jan 11 2012 04:56:47 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 11 2012 05:00:00 PM CST

HURLEY, Wis. (AP) -- Hundreds have turned out for a legislative hearing in northern Wisconsin on a mining bill that would streamline the permitting process for a proposed iron ore mine.

The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Small Business on Wednesday held the first public hearing in northern Wisconsin on the bill. It comes following criticism of the previous hearing being held near Milwaukee, about 300 miles away from where the mine would be.

The Daily Press reports people attending the hearing in Hurley spilled into an adjoining room.

Backers of the mine say it would bring more than 700 mining jobs to an economically depressed area. But environmentalists and tribal leaders who live in the Penokee Hills area are worried about the long-term effects of iron ore mining on the pristine region.