In the summer of 2012, a coalition of Minnesota conservation groups calling themselves Mining Truth started a public dialogue surrounding the proposed Polymet and Twin Metals mines near Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
A year later, the campaign is entering its next phase, and the coalition is initiating a public debate over four questions they feel Governor Dayton and mining companies should be able to answer before allowing the mines to proceed. (Click on audio mp3 above to hear an interview with Frank Moe of Conservation Minnesota and Aaron Klemz of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.)
Those questions are:
1) Will Minnesota’s water stay safe and clean?
2) Are there safeguards in place for when things go wrong?
3) Will the company leave the site clean and maintenance-free?
4) Will Minnesota’s taxpayers be protected?
Mining Truth coalition members have stated that unless Governor Dayton and the mining companies are each able to demonstrate to the people of Minnesota that the answer to these four questions is an unqualified yes, the mines should not be allowed to move forward.
Mining Truth coalition members are currently meeting with Minnesotans around the state to encourage them to sign an online petition that will urge Governor Dayton to take these questions into account when it comes to deciding on the mining proposals.
“Minnesotans from all parts of the state need to understand what is at stake with these sulfide mines,” said Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota. “When they fully understand the risks we all face, we believe they will join with us in demanding that these four questions are resolved before the mines progress.”
Mining Truth is a combined effort of Conservation Minnesota, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. The goal of the coalition is to provide a resource for Minnesotans to get the facts about sulfide mining and its long-lasting impacts. For more information visit www.miningtruth.org.