www.mnaction.org Thursday, July 31, 2014  

Protect Our Water from Toxic Mining Pollution!

You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the directions at the bottom.

Issue

Strengthen Minnesota’s Damage Deposit Rules for New Non-Ferrous Mining

Background

A new kind of mining is being discussed in Minnesota. But current regulations are not strong enough to protect our taxpayers and our lakes, rivers and streams.

Multinational corporations are rapidly moving to develop new non-ferrous sulfide mines in northeastern Minnesota. These mines are not Minnesota’s traditional iron ore and taconite mines; these new toxic-producing mines would extract minerals like copper and nickel from sulfide ores. This type of mining has the potential to cause long-term water pollution that would be very costly to clean up.

Acid mine drainage has polluted water bodies in many other parts of the country. In some cases, this pollution will persist for hundreds or thousands of years. In Minnesota, the watersheds at risk include the St. Louis River and Lake Superior and the White Iron Chain of Lakes, which includes popular recreation lakes near Ely and ultimately flows into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

One solution to protect the environment and taxpayers is stronger financial assurance, a “damage deposit” that companies should provide before mining to cover clean-up costs in the event they are unable or unwilling to do it. Minnesota has some laws in place to manage non-ferrous mining, but there are numerous gaps that expose the state and its citizens to significant risks. These problems with Minnesota’s existing damage deposit rules include a lack of transparency, too much control by one state agency, and allowed forms of assurance that are not guaranteed in the event of bankruptcy.

For more information about the risks posed by new non-ferrous mining and how current Minnesota regulations should be strengthened, please go to www.SafeMinesMN.org

And don’t forget to bring a resolution in support of stronger damage deposit rules to your precinct caucus on February 2.

Use this tool from the Secretary of State to find your caucus (please cut and paste into your browser): http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

CLICK BELOW FOR CAUCUS RESOLUTIONS AND MORE INFO ON THE MINING ISSUE.

More Info

Message To Be Sent To
Your message will be sent to each of the following targets:

Your State Representative
Your State Senator
Message
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Vote YES on SF 2349 to Protect Our Water and Our Wallets


Dear Representative,

I urge you to vote “Yes” on SF 2349 (Carlson’s bill) to strengthen Minnesota’s financial assurance regulations for new non-ferrous mines.

Existing financial assurance regulations are insufficient. Please vote to ensure that Minnesota taxpayers won’t be stuck with the cost of cleaning up pollution left behind when mining companies go bankrupt.

SF 2349 will clarify who is responsible for ongoing cleanup, require financial assurance to include costs for long-term water treatment, strengthen requirements about the forms of financial assurance that are acceptable, and increase transparency and opportunities for public input.

There are many examples of non-ferrous mines that have left behind a legacy of water pollution. Minnesota taxpayers, and our lakes and streams, deserve better protection. I hope I can count on your support.

Your name and address here


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