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Sulfide mines would threaten health of Boundary Waters’ ecosystems

I have always been proud to call myself a Minnesotan, and Minnesota’s dedication to protecting its wild places is one of the reasons I am so proud to call this state home.

So two months ago, when I first heard of the exploratory drilling for sulfide mines outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I was shocked. This new, toxic type of mining could ruin the Boundary Waters, damaging the area’s ecosystems, water quality, and its pristine beauty that draws more than  250,000 visitors to the region each year. I began to work as a canvasser to protect the Boundary Waters, and while I talked to Minnesotans interested in protecting the area, I heard countless stories of exploration, personal growth, and family adventure.

I hope that the Boundary Waters will be preserved for my generation and for the generations to come; to this end, the EPA needs to act now to prevent sulfide mining in the area. I urge everyone who has spent time in the Boundary Waters to take action to protect the area they love.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/08/2013 - 02:44 pm.

    Sulfide mining and the Boundary Waters

    Both proposed mining projects drain south via the Embarrass and Partridge Rivers to the St Louis River which ends up in Lake Superior. Any poorly managed mine program will threaten those waters. Danger to the boundary Waters is minimal.
    For actual data, recommended reading is the 700+ page DEIS which will be updated later this year.

  2. Submitted by Greg Seitz on 07/08/2013 - 04:41 pm.

    Actual data

    Mr. Westgard: The Twin Metals mining proposal is located on and under the South Kawishiwi River, which flows into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The PolyMet project would drain into the St. Louis River and ultimately Lake Superior.

  3. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/08/2013 - 11:36 pm.

    Twin Metals

    I just spent a few days at the Twin Metals facility in Ely. From what I could see, they are still testing cores and haven’t decided where to dig.

  4. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/09/2013 - 12:31 am.


    Greg is correct in that the DEIS applies only to the Polymet project.

  5. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/10/2013 - 05:58 am.

    Twin Metals project

    This will be the most regulated project in MN history. It will happen and it will be successful.

  6. Submitted by mark wallek on 07/13/2013 - 05:51 pm.

    Dealing with necessities

    The argument for continued and increased consumption of resources is rooted in the necessity to meet the needs of a growing population, growing both in numbers and amounts consumed per capita. By inference it becomes necessary to befoul the environment, because 1) harmless sulfide mining is possibly an oxymoron and certainly too expensive to actually accomplish if not, because, 2) there must be profit in excess for the top tier. Folks on the range do need to make a living, but so do the great grand kids. There won’t be mining without significant damage, that’s a given. It’s just common sense knowing how maintenance is always lowballed in this new investor/profit driven marketplace. So what Minnesotans want will occupy the spectrum, but it’s what monied interests want that will likely dictate what occurs. This is what we get when, as a species, we lack wisdom and an ability to understand and meet real needs. So we’ll keep reproducing and consuming without awareness and maybe, like I heard as a child, science will solve the problem for us.

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