Reader's view: PolyMet’s environmental promises aren’t enough
I'm extremely concerned about the status of environmental protection for our northern Minnesota, as it is "promised" by PolyMet. To date, we are, for all practical purposes, significantly environmentally sound in respect to the overall preservati...
I’m extremely concerned about the status of environmental protection for our northern Minnesota, as it is “promised” by PolyMet.
To date, we are, for all practical purposes, significantly environmentally sound in respect to the overall preservation of nature across Minnesota’s Arrowhead region. Yes, we have a major mining industry already. But we still have pretty much a northern half of our state thick with thriving forests, speckled with beautiful lakes and still predominantly safe fishing for both fun and food accompanied by abounding tourism for those seeking the closest thing to pure, clean nature as can be found.
As much as I know what the word “jobs” means, I personally see no reason to trust industry for promises there will be no very long-lasting, serious, toxic impacts in many ways on our northern Minnesota as I’ve just described it. Since when has industry delivered on protecting the environment without inevitable pitfalls of toxic consequences?
So we hear, “Minnesota is the best place to build a copper mine because we have the best environmental laws.” What about this? Other states such as Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Montana all failed to build an environmentally safe copper mine. These states have problems now because acid mine drainage polluted the air, drinking water, rivers, soils and groundwater. I’ve heard of areas near mine sites described as resembling a moonscape and devoid of vegetation.
What is so compelling and absolutely certain about Minnesota’s environmental laws that guarantee no toxic impact to our land, water and air? That’s what I’d like to know. And I’d like to know it as a fact that can be confirmed from the side of environmentalists and scientists - and not just because industry has spoken on its own behalf.