Environmental Report Pressing Anti-Mining Regulations in the BWCA
Minn.– In a 93-page report looked into how mining would impact the water, land, wildlife, air quality, and more, with forest service officials saying the mine could cause irreversible damage to the natural land of the BWCA.
The environmental report was ordered after President Joe Biden proposed re-instating the Obama-era’s, 20-year ban on copper-nickel mining due to environmental concerns. Which was reversed under the trump administration.
This report will outline the environmental impacts to the BWCA if the 20 year mineral withdrawal is not enacted, and mining is able to continue. The chair of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters agree with the research, saying the damage would be significant.
“So, sulfide bearing ore, when you bring it to the surface and expose it to air and water, creates something called acid mine draining. Which is a combination of sulfide, sulfate, and heavy metals. That is known to seriously degrade water quality,” National Chair of Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, Becky Rom, said.
Now, there will be a 30-day period for the public to comment on the findings.
These findings will then be reviewed by the federal government. To be finalized by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
While the Twin Metals mine proposal would bring in Twin Metals, a mining company wanting to build a mine near the BWCAW. Sent out a statement reviewing their plans with the area.
“We will continue to work for the Twin Metals project to receive the thorough science-based environmental review proscribed in law and designed to protect the environment including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness,” Twin Metals said.
In that statement, the Twin Metals company adds that it would bring 750 jobs, and 15-hundred related jobs to the area.
Becky rom says the BWCA is its own economic force already with the tourism it brings.
‘There are a lot of values that would be protected in the Boundary Water that is why it is so special. It’s a tremendous economic driver in the area, it’s also attracting new residents,” Rom said.
As the community waits for the finalization following the release of the U.S. Forest Service. Minnesota’s District 8 Congressman, Pete Stauber, released a statement blasting the Biden Administration’s latest Anti-Mining Action after the Forest Service released their assessment.
“Under this action by Biden, we would not be able to develop taconite in the withdrawal region of the Superior National Forest, like northern Minnesotans have been doing safely for the last 130 years,” Stauber said.
We also reached out to representative Jen Scultz’s office for her response this evening and are waiting to hear back.