Minnesota's BWCA and Kawishiwi make list of most endangered rivers

  • Article by: Josephine Marcotty , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2013 - 9:37 AM

Groups cite copper mining plans in calling South Kawishiwi endangered.

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rebazhinApr. 17, 1311:55 AM

Once again enviro groups speak in absolutes about copper mining. American Rivers said the Kawishiwi and the BWCA “will be irreparably harmed” by mine drainage. This DOES NOT happen all the time. Bob McFarlin, spokesman for Twin Metals, says the Boundary Waters will be protected. Minnesota has the strictest environmental protection regulations, and the company plans to meet all state and federal environmental standards. The Friends of the Boundary Waters' states that "all hard rock mines create environmental damage of some kind." This is not true. It is just more of their propaganda to stir up controversy and delay the mining projects. The Dunka Pit which has some leakage has been managed and monitored by the MPCA since 1977. There has not been any impact to area lakes or rivers, and no impact whatsoever to the Boundary Waters.

EleanoreApr. 17, 1312:02 PM

Until the mine shows existing, long term examples of texact duplicate mines and systems that have been used and are 100% effective at keeping the sort of pollution being noted here from happening in the proposed operation here, they may not mine here. The people will not have it. EOS.

EleanoreApr. 17, 1312:52 PM

"Bob McFarlin, spokesman for Twin Metals, says the Boundary Waters will be protected...the company plans to meet all state and federal environmental standards." - Sounds like there will be no problem then showing us similar examples of where they've done this right, and how the environment has been permanently protected even after they've left in other locations. It's easy to make claims. The merit a permit when they demonstrate ability, not before. Claims are cheap, unlike our people and environment.

jhb8426Apr. 17, 13 3:43 PM

"is THREATENED by copper mining projects that are pending" - So if it's PENDING, why does this rate "make list of most endangered rivers"?

phatflysApr. 18, 13 7:11 AM

My vote is to keep the BWCA as pristine as possible. Keep all mining and logging out of and as far away from the BWCA as possible.

eddie55431Apr. 18, 13 8:07 AM

In the past the "endangered" tag on something indicated that it had already suffered nearly irreparable harm, and needed special designation to recover. In this case, nothing has happened to the river, and under current state and federal regulations nothing can be allowed to happen. Move along, nothing to see here folks....just another publicity play by the people who increase your cost of living every day though needless and repetitive litigation.

eastrangeApr. 18, 13 8:11 AM

Yet another shameless fundraising attempt by the "Friends" who once again repeat misinformation on a consistent basis. Google Flambeau Reclaimed and you will find an example of where it has been done before safely. Better yet, have a look at the Twin Metals site and read about it first hand.

jackpinesavApr. 18, 13 9:23 AM

Arizona, where I winter, is rushing to approve metals mining right next to Grand Canyon! Ponder that for a second....Just because the Colorado River feeds sustaining water to Phoenic, Vegas and much of California....picky, picky, picky...! And extreme right accuses the president of being "anti jobs". Pogo was right...

heidinelyApr. 18, 1310:14 AM

I live in Ely and will be directly affected by the outcome of this issue. If Twin Metals and Polymet are able to move forward with this, my family and I will be leaving the area as quickly as possible, and will take our business with us. I will not raise my kids anywhere near an operation that would even remotely affect the water supply. Just google sulfide mining, would you want to live next to that or even have it in your back yard? And this is next to pristine wilderness!!! Would you visit Ely and it's protected wilderness if it bordered a sulfide mine? And we're supposed to believe that this can be done without affecting the BWCAW? Is there not one place on this continent that can be left alone, untouched, for future generations to enjoy? Do we have to occupy or extract every solid inch of this earth before we will be happy? Do all decisions need to be based on $$? Yes, jobs will move into the area and yes, money will move into the area, but at what cost? And what happens when it's all done? They've taken what they want, moved on, and left us (Minnesotans) with a hefty clean-up bill like in Montana $33 million+, Colorado $185 million+, and Idaho $53 million. I did google Flambeau Reclaimed as the comment above suggests and this is what I found "Fourteen years after mining operations ended, water samples on the site of the Flambeau mine near Ladysmith show high levels of toxic pollutants." Source: Journal Sentinal 2011. Or should we write this off as another "shameless fundraising attempt by the "Friends?"

eastrangeApr. 18, 13 4:27 PM

Here is what the judge reviewing the Flambeau mine said about it: Again, do adequate research. JUDGE FINDS FLAMBEAU MINING CO. COMMITTED TO “PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND PRESERVATION OF WATER QUALITY” Judge Crabb found that no harm was done to the Flambeau River. She stated “Plaintiffs cannot make a plausible argument that the quality of the water in the river is affected by the discharges from the biofilter. They can continue to enjoy the river for fishing, recreation and wildlife viewing without any concern for the river’s water quality resulting from biofilter discharges, not only because the biofilter is being replaced but because it never threatened the river’s water quality during the period at issue in this suit.”


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