Mining firm drops out after Wisconsin bill rejected

March 6, 2012

Madison – The state Senate rejected mining legislation on Tuesday, prompting a prominent mining company to say it was abandoning a project after months of often bitter debate that pitted conflicting claims of economic development against environmental protection.

“Senate rejection of the mining reforms . . . sends a clear message that Wisconsin will not welcome iron mining. We get the message,” said a statement from Bill Williams, president of Gogebic Taconite LLC. “(We are) ending plans to invest in a Wisconsin mine.” Continue reading

Wisconsin Events calling for mining activists!

Wednesday, January 25th, 5:00p, – 7:00pm
BURY THE MINING BILL PROTEST RALLY: at Lady Forward, to of State Street / Capitol Square, Madison, WI — Protest AB-426 aka “The Mining Bill,” and Wetlands Deregulation Bill AB-463. These Bills will deregulate environmental protections and give immunity to mining operations. The bills are also in direct violation of the treaty rights of the tribes whose resources they affect. The bills are themselves illegal.

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Roscoe and Evelyn Churchill were right. They said from the very beginning that the Flambeau Mine would pollute the water over there, and it has.Now we have a chance to do something about it, and WRPC is asking for your help. Please see the attached letter for details and submit your written comments to the Wisconsin DNR by February 20, 2012.

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Common Dreams: Utah Doctors Join “Occupy” Movement

Published on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by

Utah Doctors Join “Occupy” Movement

Taking inspiration from the Occupy Movement, last week a group of doctors and environmental groups in Salt Lake City, Utah announced a law suit against the third largest mining corporation in the world, Rio Tinto, for violating the Clean Air Act in Utah. This is likely the first time ever that physicians have sued industry for harming public health.

Air pollution causes between 1,000 and 2,000 premature deaths every year in Utah. Moreover, medical research in the last ten years has firmly established that air pollution causes the same broad array of diseases well known to result from first and second hand cigarette smoke–strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, virtually every kind of lung disease, neurologic diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, loss of intelligence, chromosomal damage, higher rates of diabetes, obesity, adverse birth outcomes and various cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. Continue reading

Minnesota: Morse town hall overflows for county mining resolution debate

12/26/2011 12:10:00 PM
STATE REP. Tom Rukavina talks with Becky Rom during a break at the county board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Morse town hall overflows for county mining resolution debate

by Tom Coombe & Nick Wognum

After several hours of testimony Tuesday in a jam-packed Morse Town Hall, the St. Louis County Board went on record in support of copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota.

But the resolution ultimately approved on a 4-3 vote wasn’t as forceful as a measure originally presented the week before by Ely commissioner Mike Forsman.

Commissioners instead resolved to support “the existing open, transparent and comprehensive environmental review and permitting process in place” for various copper-nickel mining projects proposed for the region and supports “the success of these projects,” contingent upon the approval of all federal and state environmental permits.

A more strongly-worded resolution of support stalled at a Dec. 13 meeting in Duluth, and other county business was put aside for more than seven hours Tuesday, when both supporters and opponents of the measure turned out in full force.

As many as 90 people crammed into the Morse Town Hall at times, and dozens more waited outside for a chance to speak or take in the proceedings.

After hearing from more than 50 speakers, most from outside the Ely area, commissioners adopted a resolution that Forsman said was tweaked in part to gain the support of commissioner Steve Raukar of Hibbing.

Raukar joined Forsman, Virginia area commissioner Steve Nelson and Chris Dalberg of Duluth to form a four-member majority. Continue reading

Utah pollution fighters sue Kennecott

By Judy Fahys

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Dec 19 2011 09:32AM

Environmental groups made good Monday on a promise to sue Kennecott Utah Copper over air pollution.

Utah Moms for Clean Air, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, the Sierra Club of Utah and WildEarth Guardians are demanding that the mining giant scale back its operations to pre-2007 levels and pay penalties of about $68 million for violating the Clean Air Act for nearly five years.

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Eagle Project: Petitioners Appeal Court Decision

Groups Appeal Decision Allowing Dangerous Mine to Move Forward

 MARQUETTE, MICH. (December 12, 2011) – A coalition of groups is appealing a court decision that has allowed a dangerous mine to proceed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—despite the threat the mine poses to water quality, the Great Lakes and one of the region’s last spawning grounds for the coaster brook trout.

The Huron Mountain Club, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, National Wildlife Federation and Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve filed the motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals over the weekend. The groups are opposing the mine on the grounds that it poses unacceptable risks to water and air quality—and that it could collapse, endangering workers and the river it is underneath.

“This mine is the first to be permitted under Michigan’s new mining law, and we must ensure that the law’s protections of human health and the environment are honored and applied,” said Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation. “So far, they have not been and that is why we are seeking leave to appeal. Many more mines are in the queue and this is a precedent-setting case.”

The groups are appealing a decision by the Ingham County Circuit Court that allowed international mining company Rio Tinto to start mining activities on Eagle Rock—a site considered sacred to Native Americans.

“It is very important to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to protect Eagle Rock as a sacred place,” said Chris Swartz, President, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, “and we are hopeful that this appeal will result in the Court of Appeals reversing the decisions of the circuit court.”

The type of mine being proposed—in which nickel and copper deposits are extracted from sulfide ores—poses severe risks to the environment. One byproduct of so-called “hard rock” or “sulfide ore” mining is sulfuric acid, which has proven deadly to rivers, streams and wildlife in other parts of the country. Rio Tinto, the company overseeing the project, has broken Clean Water Act laws dozens of times in mines they have controlled in other states.

Now, the Michigan Court of Appeals will decide whether to take the case. There is no date by which the court must make its decision.

“We will continue to put forth our concentrated efforts to ensure that this area remains unharmed and protected for everyone’s enjoyment, not just for special interests,” said Emily Whittaker, executive director of Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

Groups Ask Judge to Halt Mine Blasting

Huron Mountain Club – Keweenaw Bay Indian Community –
National Wildlife Federation – Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
For Immediate Release: September 1, 2011
Contact: Michelle Halley, National Wildlife Federation, (906) 361-0520

Groups Ask Judge to Halt Mine Blasting
MARQUETTE, MICH. (September 1, 2011) – A coalition of groups yesterday asked a judge to halt imminent mining activity that would desecrate a sacred Native American site and jeopardize water quality for the Great Lakes and one of the region’s last spawning grounds for the coaster brook trout.

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Rick Snyder speaks to invited guests in Houghton





Photo courtesy of Houghton Gazette

Rick Snyder addresses over 150 folks in Houghton this week. Keweenaw Now was there and has a full report:

Also Mining Journal writer Kyle Whitney interviewed Snyder on Monday in Marquette: …