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E-M:/ Headwaters are no place for toxic new mining

>From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, authored by Eric Hansen:

New proposals for mining in the U.P. involve a method — metallic sulfide mining — known for its record of toxic water pollution.

Given the broad implications of these proposed mines and the potential flow of polluted water to Wisconsin (and other states) by way of the Menominee River, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, a watershed-wide debate is in order.

Wisconsin already has had an extensive public discussion of metallic sulfide mining. A robust, 27-year citizens’ campaign blocked proposals for a metallic sulfide mine at Crandon on the headwaters of the Wolf River. Among the mine proponents that decided to back out was Exxon, then our planet’s largest corporation.

That groundswell of public concern led to passage of a common-sense, show-me mining moratorium in 1997. This Wisconsin law prevents a metallic sulfide mining permit unless the proponents can present an example of a metallic sulfide mine in operation for 10 years without causing water pollution. In addition, it requires permit applicants to supply an example of such a mine successfully closed for 10 years without pollution.