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Chippewa band may block Wisc.'s move to open iron mine near Lake Superior

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Just as Wisconsin lawmakers put a proposed iron mine near Lake Superior on a fast track, leaders of a Chippewa band say they will work to block the project, possibly in court.

The iron mining industry on Lake Superior's south shore has been dormant since the 1960s. The Associated Press reports unemployment in some communities is at 12 percent. But while the mine plan has generated excitement about jobs, it's also raised concerns about pollution.

Joe Rose, Sr., a tribal elder with the Bad River band, says of the mine, "We're not going to let it happen."

After Gov. Scott Walker touted the mine in his State of the State speech in January, legislative committees voted last week to speed up the regulatory process to allow faster approval of the $1.5 billion project.

At a hearing in Ashland over the weekend, critics raised concerns about the mine's possible impact on water quality in the wild rice beds of the Bad River area and in Lake Superior.

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