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Gov. Snyder signs changes to copper mining regulations

May 23, 2017

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law changes to the regulation of Michigan copper mines.

Legislation enacted Tuesday establishes separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The law also does not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, says it's not economically feasible to have smaller mines regulated the same as bigger ones and doing so could hurt job growth.

Environmentalists and other opponents of the law worry it doesn't have enough safety precautions to protect against damage to the environment and to local water supplies.