Protect Minnesota's environment and mining, too

  • Article by: MINDY GREILING
  • Updated: March 20, 2012 - 7:34 PM

We can have mining and its economic benefits if risks are covered in advance.

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freedumb86Mar. 20, 1211:18 PM

These companies will regulate themselves. No problem.

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mcjoe1Mar. 21, 1212:13 AM

Since mining is literally selling our state away, what will the average state resident get out of it? Why can't we set up a fund like Alaska's Permanent Fund where a certain cut of revenues from these mines goes into a fund that could be used to help fund the DNR and a backup fund should there be an environmental disaster. I'd rather the state lease the land in a revenue sharing arrangement than selling it on the cheap and letting the mining companies pocket our state's natural resources.

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viktorvaughnMar. 21, 1212:21 AM

Dumping clean-up costs on the public is part of the sulfide mining business model.

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pdf123Mar. 21, 12 4:52 AM

Right on ! There is a lot of "rush to mine" mentality going on that is ignoring potential impacts to water, fishing, wild rice production, hunting and other recreation. Thanks Mindy.

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spamtownMar. 21, 12 8:42 AM

The lakes of the BWCAW area are very fragile--they have clean water that has no buffering capacity, as the waters in the rest of the state have. Should the sulfuric acid leach from the tailings (99% of the result of the mining) the lakes will acidify immediately and the flora and fauna will die. It will not be a "quick fix" and no one reading this column will be alive when the lakes eventually recover. I get my drinking water from a lake downstream from the proposed mines and the mines will destroy my environment and my property value if they can't contain the runoff (which they have never done before--even in arid environments).

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mn2niceMar. 21, 12 9:41 AM

Based on the history of what the mining industry has not done to proect the environmnent, and the fact they continue to put their interests before those of the residents of the state in terms of clean water and air quality, I cannot envision a day when I would be willing to support any further development of mining in the state. The notion that we should put any number of jobs before protecting the planet is absurd. When companies can demonstrate they put protecting the enviroment before their profits then I will listen.

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tmrichardsonMar. 21, 12 9:42 AM

mcjoe the only way a fund would work would be if it comes with a great deal of specific limits on what proceeds can be used for. Mining already has a fund without such limits--the IRRB funds--and while they have done some real good on the range politics determines what that money gets spent on. And we have seen how each and every year legislators try to find away around law to grab some of the Lessard/Sams fund $$ for their pet use. Legislators from both parties generally hate any new funding source that they can't get their greedy hands into when they want to avoid the reality of their jobs. Things like raising revenue or cutting programs at appropriate times are inconvenient and politically risky--they'd rather be dumpster divers looking for crumbs to cobble together a budget, and raiding such funds is almost a prerequisite skill to be a legislator these days.

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spicebearMar. 21, 1210:15 AM

While agree with this proposal, I am wondering if Ms. Greiling was correct when she stated that we are contemplating opening the actual Boundary Waters to nonferrous metallic mineral mining. I understand that the proposed mine would be NEAR the BWCA, would it actually be IN it?

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tmatuseskiMar. 21, 12 1:14 PM

The idea that the mining industry will set up a fund to clean up a mess from mining is ridiculous. Industry has never properly cleaned up any of the waste and pollution they created. The Exxon-Valdez disaster is a perfect example, that area of Alaska has not and probably will not recover its fishing industry, and if you went up there and dug only a few inches down you would find oil sludge pollution still to this day. Even if there were a fund set up the politicians would find a way to spend that money on the first rainy day event that came up. Once the disaster happens there will probably be no way to clean it up to the point were it was before the mining took place, no matter how much money is spent. The profits from this will all mostly flow out of the state, while the pollution continues to flow in the state.

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tmatuseskiMar. 21, 12 1:16 PM

To Spice Bear: Mark a circle on your floor and pour some water near, but outside the circle and see how fast it flows into the circle.

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