Activists Gather 15,000 Petitions to Oppose Sulfide Mining on the Iron Range

By KBJR News 1

August 1, 2013 Updated Aug 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM CDT

Duluth,MN (NNCNOW.COM)

Minnesota Environmentalists gathered in Canal Park to call for an end to sulfide mining projects on the Iron Range.

Environment Minnesota collected thousands of signatures in opposition of Polymet's proposed open pit mine.

"We're here to announce nearly 10,000 petitions from citizens across Minnesota who are opposed to the proposed sulfide mining from Polymet and Twin Metals,"says Jacob Albright Field Minnesota at Environment Minnesota.

Grassroots group, Water Legacy, joined Environment Minnesota to announce their progression.

"As an organization we have petitioned over 4–thousand petitions to Governor Dayton and to Susan Hedman of the EPA," says Allen Richardson of Water Legacy.

Both groups are requesting that the Environmental Protection Agency use increased scrutiny when assessing Polymet's draft of an environmental impact statement.

"When Polymet releases their final draft of their environmental impact statement we will go to the EPA with our petitions signatures and our members behind us and say we oppose this Polymet proposed sulfide mine," Albright adds.

Activists say sulfide mining ruins the rich outdoor people so many people pride themselves for having.

"Reshaping Northern Minnesota into an industrial zone...let's not damage what we already have in the name of a short term gain which in the final equation leave us with an open ended amount of toxic pollution that cannot be contained and no amount of money can clean up," says Richardson

But there are two sides to every story...

"We want solar power, we all want wind energy, well guess what we need copper and nickel for that and we don't have enough of it. We rely on foreign companies for that. We have an opportunity to do it," says Frank Ongaro of Mining Minnesota.

Polymet is on the second draft of Its environmental impact statement.

The groups stationed themselves in front of Lake Superior to tout their achievements and encourage the public to take the next by contacting state and federal leaders.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com

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