There are few places in this country more beautiful than the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, which is contained by the equally stunning Superior National Forest. So, naturally, it's just the perfect place to drop a massive copper mine.
Polluter profiteers are pushing to conduct a toxic form of mineral extraction called sulfide mining next to the Boundary Waters. Runoff from this kind of mining can create sulfuric acid and mercury contamination -- both of which could pollute the pristine Boundary Waters.1
Fortunately, the US Forest Service (USFS) has announced it's considering protecting the Boundary Waters from mining by withholding two mineral leases. The leases, held by Twin Metals Minnesota, a subsidiary of Chilean mining giant Antofagasta, expired on Dec. 31, 2013 and are up for renewal.1 -- But we only have a few days left before the comment period closes and the USFS makes a decision. SIGN HERE to protect the Boundary Waters.
While the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the holder of the Twin Metals leases, the USFS has a right of consent to any lease renewal because the land is in the Superior National Forest. In a letter to the BLM last month, the USFS said it could withhold consent for renewal of the leases.2
These leases were issued in 1966, before many environmental regulations existed, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the law that requires environmental impacts to be considered before mines can be sited. These leases have never undergone environmental review.3
In addition to denying the leases the we are also urging the USFS to ask Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to withdraw the federally-owned minerals within the Boundary Waters watershed from the federal mineral leasing program. This would protect the Boundary Waters from copper mining for twenty years. Please SIGN HERE to protect the Boundary Waters before the comment period ends.
Thanks for taking action,
Sally and the Clean Water Crew Team at Environmental Action
1. Public input sought for mining lease renewals. United States Forest Service. Jun 13, 2016.
2. Maria Herd. Mining near the Boundary Waters: What should happen with Twin Metals? Bring Me The News. July 6, 2016.
3. Dan Kraker. U.S. Forest Service takes another look at mining leases near Boundary Waters, cites 'inherent risks'. MPR News. June 13, 2016.