Monday, September 11, 2017

Walker's WI 'wins' another negative national ranking

Already with many worst-state listings, Walker's Wisconsin finds itself soiled with another negative ranking. 

The background:

The Menominee River on the Wisconsin-Michigan border has landed on a list of the 10 Most Endangered Rivers in the US because a Canadian firm is close to winning final approval to dig an open pit mine near the water's edge which could release acid mine drainage downstream:
The Menominee River is approximately 120 miles long and forms the border between northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, ultimately draining into Lake Michigan’s Green Bay... 
Aquila Resources, a Canadian mining company, is seeking permits for the Back Forty Project adjacent to the Menominee River, near the town of Stephenson, Michigan. This open pit sulfide mine would use cyanide to extract and process ore (gold, zinc, copper and silver) on site. Wastewater would be discharged into the Menominee River...
There is a significant threat of sulfuric acid leaching harmful heavy metals, including copper, cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury, and creating acid mine drainage impacting the Menominee River. Groundwater, rivers and ultimately Lake Michigan would become contaminated if acid mine drainage were to seep into surface and groundwater, posing a significant danger to fish and other aquatic life. 
Citizens on both sides of the river, including the Superior Watershed Partnership and eight Native American tribes, have voiced opposition to the Back Forty mine due to the threat it poses to clean water and cultural values. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is concerned about potential impacts to the waters so central to their culture. Mining operations would desecrate burial mounds, sacred sites and other cultural resources.
Menominee River | Tom Young

There is strong local opposition to the mine, along with fund-raising, here.

Note also that more objection is forming in the Wisconsin legislature, though, not surprisingly, Scott Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is OK with Michigan run by fellow GOP/Tea Partier/corporate tool Rick Snyder calling the shots.

And are you surprised that Wisconsin added 225 segments in 2016 to its official list of impaired waterways, but only removed 10, official records show

The WI-MI border mining threat has been noted on this blog; additionally, more Wisconsin communities, cultures and waterways will face similar, severe impairment if a separate bill being fast-tracked through the state legislature - - just as Foxconn is winning special legal and environmental permission to change stream flows and fill wetlands wherever it builds in SE Wisconsin - -  wins approval and wipes out protections in place that have kept acid runoff and other pollutants out of Wisconsin drinking and recreational waters.

Things get darker when you add to this ugly brew Trump's calculated, pro-polluter evisceration of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Hard times for Wisconsin's legacy clean waters - - and no I'm not forgetting rural residents with the misfortune of living near contaminating CAFOs when their powerful owners have the ear of the Governor and Attorney General in our one-party corporatized state.

Updates on that front, here:

Though the GOP keeps handing it favor after favor, Big Dairy, like other influential special interests in Wisconsin, wants more, more, more.
Not content with sweetheart treatment by official Wisconsin leading to fewer rules, eased inspections, tolerated contamination, and privatized groundwater at the expense of less-politically neighbors or downstream users, Big Dairy in Wisconsin is honing a lawsuit to prevent what remains of Scott Walker's intentionally-weakened DNR from reining in those expanding industrial-scale cattle feeding/water-demanding/manure-producing CAFOs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article!