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Several months ago I slipped away from writing about the fishing in our area to talk about a serious situation 650 miles from here in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). A foreign-owned mining company has been seeking leases and permits to mine nickel and copper at the edge of the Boundary Waters for many years.
Every administration before our current one has stopped the leases because of environmental concerns. The Trump administration, however, has reversed that and approved the leases, even though nickel-sulfide mining is considered the most polluting form of mining there is.
The potential for the destruction of the pristine wilderness of the BWCA from the mines’ processes would leach arsenic, lead and many other heavy metals into the water system, polluting the waters for an estimated 500 years, killing numerous species of fish and wildlife that live in and about the waters.
The Argentinean mining company Autofagasta that had been pushing for the leases has now been taken over by the Glencore Group. This makes the matter of even graver concern as the new company in charge has an international reputation as an environmental polluter of enormous scale and is currently looking at lawsuits in a number of countries for the environmental damage they have done, and for various other charges of employee mismanagement and child labor violations.
The reason I bring up this situation again is that we here in Chicago need to be aware and as concerned as the people of Minnesota.
The area where the Twin Metals Mine plans to dump its mine waste/by-products is alongside two rivers that flow into Lake Superior, which is the source for our water here in Lake Michigan.
This would put the arsenic and other heavy metals into our water system, making our drinking water very poor quality.
We need to be concerned about this situation.
Readers who wish to get more information about what is going on and how they might get involved should check out BWCA’s website, savetheboundrywaters.org.
Fishing here in our area has been just getting better and better. All our reporting lakes have been having great reports of numbers of big fish being caught, so get out there and get fishing.
Until next time…keep a tight line.