A Republican state senator is defending his proposal to scale back local governments' authority to regulate sand mines in front of a legislative committee.
Sen. Tom Tiffany's bill would prohibit locals from regulating sand mines under so-called police powers as well as ban them from regulating blasting, setting environmental standards and collecting advance fees for road damage. The locals could still impose regulations under their zoning authority.
Tiffany, a Hazelhurst Republican, told the Senate mining committee during a public hearing Thursday he believes the bill will create regulatory uniformity so the mining industry isn't dealing with hundreds of what he called mini-Departments of Natural Resources.
Sen. Bob Jauch, a Poplar Democrat, told Tiffany the bill guts the concept of local control.
The committee isn't expected to vote on the bill.