Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wisconsin Mining Reform [Sic] Legislation Threatens Public Waters

Scott Walker and legislators controlled by mining interests will help ensure that clean water violations like this will become more routine:

MADISON, Wis.— A federal court ruled [in July] that the Flambeau Mining Company violated the Clean Water Act on multiple occasions by allowing pollution from its Flambeau Mine site, near Ladysmith, Wis., to enter the Flambeau River and a nearby tributary...

The court’s decision also undercuts the Flambeau Mine’s status as an environmentally successful “example mine.” Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium Law prohibits the mining of a sulfide ore body unless mine proponents can point to a mine that has been closed for at least 10 years without polluting the environment.

“There are a number of large copper-mine proposals pending in this region, and the continuing pollution at this much smaller and short-term mine does not bode well for the larger strip-mine projects,” said Marc Fink, attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.


Anonymous said...

From the journal sentinel, July 25, 2012
“A federal judge in Madison has ruled that Flambeau Mining Co. violated federal clean water laws at its copper mine near Ladysmith, but also concluded the amount of pollution was minimal and the company’s environmental practices were “exemplary.””….
…”But Crabb said the discharges were slight and that Flambeau deserved “commendation, not penalties” for stewardship of the site. She ordered the company to pay $275 for the discharges. She denied a request to have Flambeau pay the legal expenses of the plaintiffs.”…
…” “We are pleased that the judge was clear in her ruling that the Flambeau River has been and is protected, and that discharges from the biofilter on our property have never threatened the river’s water quality, as the plaintiffs claimed,” said Dave Cline, a project manager for Flambeau.”…

Anonymous said...

The Flambeau mine was a complete success story of how well mining can be done, even directly along the banks of a major river. Any toxic discharges were so minimal that they had no damaging impacts on anything. The area is now a recreational area open to the public and you can go and visit it for yourself to see how much damage occurred and remains.

Anonymous said...

More "divide and conquer". walker's standard play book -- especially since john doe probe into the criminality that only he directly benefited from is going to turn to him and top aides in 2013:

1. gin up a crisis

2. call for unity to meet that crisis

3. enact divisive politics to benefit out-of-state billionaires

4. claim he had to do it because of the crisis (which he created)

5. proclaim Wisconsin has to move "forward".

And the media has been and will continue to be entirely complicit.

The only way walker can keep money rolling into his criminal defense fund is to continue to "drop the bomb" and do what the Koch brothers and other multinational corporate interests want.

If you thought Wisconsin politics in 2011 and 2012 were divisive and ugly -- YOU AIN'T SEEN NUTTIN' YET!

nonquixote said...

Mining, Arctic Oil Drilling, Safety Second, Profits First

Shell's Kulluk drill rig was begun to be towed to Seattle, from Alaska and the primary motivation that has yet to be widely publicized was to avoid paying $7M in AK state taxes on equipment stationed in the state as of Jan 1.

Kulluk has yet to spill 150K gallons of operational drilling fluid and fuel but it is still stranded as towing it off the shore to safety will be likely be attempted ASAP, pending weather.

Pier System controlling every bit of information released to public and likely controlling information between drill owners and government regulators and emergency responders for the benefit of keeping a good face on things.

James Rowen said...

To NQ: Thank you. Will repost.

Gareth said...

Anonymous 5:38 AM states of the Flambeau mine: "Any toxic discharges were so minimal that they had no damaging impacts on anything."

The mining company claimed at the time that there would be no toxic discharges at all--None. Obviously they were lying and knew they were lying because it was known at the time that there has never been a mine anywhere in the world that has not produced pollution. The question is only how long it it takes for the pollution to manifest itself.

A little toxic discharge now but a lot more later? We don't know. For those who don't care about future generations, delayed pollution is probably acceptable.

You can call a filled in mine a recreation area if you want, but all the pollution action is taking place under ground where you can't see it-- Out of sight, out of mind.

Any comparison between this modest open pit mine and the massive West Virginia style mountain-top removal project that Republicans plan for northern Wisconsin is irrelevant. It would be like comparing a fire cracker to a nuclear bomb.

nonquixote said...

I have been watching, maybe not close enough, for any comments coming from the Bad River people and possible statements of solidarity with, "Idle No More," protest or public educational activism, movement activities.