After months of bitter debate, Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that relaxes Wisconsin's mining regulations.
The governor signed the measure Monday at Oldenburg Group Inc., a Rhinelander mining equipment manufacturer. He plans a ceremonial signing in Milwaukee later in the day.
The signing completes a major victory for Walker and his fellow Republicans. They've been working for the better part of two years to pass a bill to help Gogebic Taconite open a huge iron mine near Lake Superior. Republicans said the mine will create thousands of jobs. Walker has embraced the project as one of his top job creation efforts.
Environmental groups contend the legislation will lead to pollution and are mulling lawsuits challenging the bill's provisions.
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is considering a legal challenge as well as occupying the mine site.