On December 16, 2013, 59 conservation, business, faith-based and tribal groups in Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare a cumulative effects assessment of negative impacts of mining on clean air, fresh water, mercury contamination and public health across the Lake Superior Basin.
Both Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Congressman Keith Ellison have also requested that the EPA study the cumulative effects of mining on the Lake Superior Basin. Congresswoman McCollum stated, “I urge the EPA to use the resources provided by Congress to conduct such an assessment and clearly inform citizens of the generational consequences of sulfide mining to impacted ecosystems, human health and the basin’s tremendous water resource.” Read Rep. McCollum’s statement here.
Congressman Ellison stated, “I encourage you to complete a Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) on the impacts of sulfide mining on the entire Lake Superior Basin. . . I am concerned about the cumulative impacts of several proposed sulfide mines in the region. In particular, I am concerned about the disparate effects this pollution will have on low-income and tribal communities.” Read Rep. Ellison’s statement here.
READ the full text of the letter requesting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepare a cumulative effects assessment for the Lake Superior Basin..
59 GROUPS IN MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN & MICHIGAN ASK
U. S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO ANALYZE IMPACTS AND PROTECT LAKE SUPERIOR BASIN FROM MINING POLLUTION
SAINT PAUL, MN, December 16, 2013 – Fifty-nine conservation, business, faith-based and Native American tribal groups in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have united to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare a “Cumulative Effects Analysis” of the negative effects of mining across the Lake Superior Basin, such as that proposed in Minnesota’s controversial PolyMet NorthMet open-pit sulfide mine. Citing Great Lakes Water Quality treaties with Canada, legal obligations to tribes on lands ceded to the United States, and a history of mercury contamination and other pollution, the groups have requested the first-ever comprehensive analysis of mining impacts on one of the most important fresh water resources on the face of the earth.
In addition to the widely-criticized PolyMet sulfide mine proposal in Minnesota, mine projects that could affect air and water across the Lake Superior Basin include the Twin Metals proposed sulfide mine in Minnesota, the recently permitted Eagle Mine and Copperwood mine in Michigan, the proposed Gogebic mine in Wisconsin and the proposed Marathon mine and operating Lac des Isles mine in Ontario.
Explains Paula Maccabee, Counsel/Advocacy Director for WaterLegacy, “Controversial proposals for sulfide mining across the region pose a huge threat to human health and clean water in the Lake Superior Basin in Minnesota and our neighboring states. A cumulative assessment of the pollution of our air and water from mining has never been done. The time for this analysis is now – before irretrievable damage is done to Lake Superior’s precious freshwater resources.”
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