Letter: Testin Wrong on Mining Law
To the Editor-
In a local restaurant there is a sign on the wall that states, “Don’t drink downstream from the herd.” One would thing not drinking downstream of a pollutant would be a no-brainer.
But our new state senator is proposing just that. As a member of the mining committee he cast his support to weaken Wisconsin’s current mining law.
Part of his reasoning is evidence he claims in neighboring states having mining operations. The reality he is speaking of is iron ore mining, not nonferrous metal mining, also called sulfite, acid, or hardrock mining. One of the differences is in the ore where ferrous compared to nonferrous metals are found. Ferrous metal is generally not found with all other metals, many toxic.
Exposing nonferrous metal waste ore to air or water is what starts the toxic leaching. To understand the scope of mining on the environment, the EPA has identified nonferrous metal mining as the nation’s top toxic producing industry. With a little research you can include planet Earth.
As chairman of a committee on workforce development the senator said he is concerned about an aging and declining population of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. But to bring in an industry that will leave toxic leaching for our children and their children and beyond to perpetuity deal with, for a couple decades of work?
The senator should listen to the communities in areas where the mines are proposed. Neither the Menominee Indian Tribe nor the Marinette common council want a proposed mine next to the Menominee River.
Mayors from around north central and central Wisconsin are voicing their opposition to the proposed mine in Marathon County. It should be also noted unemployment in areas near the proposed mines is low. To bring in an industry that would ruin other industries is not good business sense.
The senator also claims to have consulted a prominent conservationist and former Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. The same person that was caught lying and misreporting facts about Wisconsin mining issues. How about we skip the liar’s input and consult some reputable conservationists, senator.
What is most important is whether you want a toxic waste dump upstream of you. There is not a single old or new nonferrous metal mine on this earth that isn’t leaching pollutants into its surroundings. That is why Wisconsin has a ‘Prove It First’ law on mining. The same law our current governor voted for when he was in the assembly. Let your State Senator Patrick Testin (608-266-3123) know what you think about a toxic waste dump upstream of you.
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