The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning its mining approval process could take years.
Republicans introduced a bill this week that streamlines state mining requirements. They maintain the changes will jump-start mining in the state and create thousands of jobs. Democrats counter it would be years before any jobs materialize.
Any mine that affects federal wetlands would need corps approval. State Sen. Tim Cullen, a Janesville Democrat, released a corps timeline Friday that said that process could take between two and four years.
Sen. Tom Tiffany, who wrote the GOP bill, noted mining applicants would have to notify the corps as soon as they decide to file a state permit application. He said he didn't believe the corps' review process would lead to major delays.