Don’t change the Sulfide Mining Moratorium Law
Letter to the Editor:
June of 1996, I attended an informational meeting about the possibility of a sulfide mine near Crandon. I knew nothing about sulfide mining, but through the years I had gotten the feeling that mining companies left a mess when they were done. Toward the end of the meeting I raised my hand and asked if anyone could refer to a sulfide mine that had created a mess to our environment. Around 10 of the 30 people present began to talk, all trying to tell me about a mine here, or there, that had polluted our environment.
I got involved with the resistance to the proposed Crandon Copper mine. In the two years it took us to get a Sulfide Mining Moratorium bill through the Wisconsin Legislature, I was exposed to one dirty mine story after another. I learned of mining disasters all over the world. One solid statement always held up when confronting the mining companies – “Give us an example of just one sulfide mine that hasn’t polluted the environment,” and they never could supply us with one.
Sulfide mining is a dirty business, and if you want to find out how dirty, search on your computer, “Pennies from Hell,” by Edwin Dobb. This took place in Montana.
Climate change is going to make the likelihood of mining disasters more common, as we can no longer look at 100-year flood data when building mines, we will have to look at 1,000-year flood research.
In a Capital Times story by Frankie Locke on March 21, 1994, Robert Shilling of the Kennecott Mining Company is quoted as saying, “In any project of this magnitude environmental trade-offs are inevitable … contamination is bound to occur no matter how diligent are the operators.”
There is a bill in our legislature to weaken the Sulfide Mining Moratorium law – contact your State Representatives and tell them to vote against Senate bill 395; we want to preserve our clean waters.
John J. Mutter Jr.,