Home

Another Ecologic Open Pit Mine Catastrophe Happened Yesterday in Brazil (January 25, 2019): Lessons for Starry-eyed Minnesotan Politicians and Investors who Have Been Bamboozled by PolyMet and Glencore and Other Foreign Mining Corporations

Leave a comment

Duty to Warn

 By Gary G. Kohls, MD – January 26, 2019

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A solemn message to the residents of Hoyt Lakes, Aurora, Meadowlands, Floodwood, Brookston, Cloquet, Scanlon, Carlton, Thomson, Wrenshall, Duluth, Superior WI, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Canada and most of all, Lake Superior, please seriously heed the warnings in the message below. 

Even state-of-the-art mine tailings ponds that use earthen dam walls (especially if they are intended to grow to become 250 feet tall like PolyMet’s!!) are subject to sudden, unexpected – and very catastrophic – breaches that could easily destroy for a generation every living thing in the watershed downstream. Even tributaries can be contaminated and even destroyed in the sudden deluge that can reverse the flow of the creeks temporarily. 

And be warned that foreign multinational mining corporations – just like every other profit-minded, multinational corporation that anybody can think of – has their profits as their number one goal; the long-term adverse environmental effects from their mining operations be damned!

Foreign multinational mining corporations have poisoned the environment – sometimes gradually, sometimes catastrophically – wherever on the planet they have extracted their minerals – NO EXCEPTIONS.

The giant multinational mining corporations Vale, BHP Billiton and Samarco (that have extensive operations in Brazil) have again demonstrated to the world why they can’t be trusted, for just yesterday (January 25, 2019) they have perpetrated another environmental catastrophe.

Read on and understand that similar disasters could (and probably will) happen downstream from the PolyMet/NorthMet/Glencore sulfuric acid-producing copper mine whose tailings pond dam is scheduled to rise to an eventually unstable height of 250 feet !!

Far more communities than the dozen towns named above could be devastated irreparably, despite what the starry-eyed and bamboozled (and/or paid off by political contributions) politicians like Senator Klobuchar, Senator Smith, US House member Stauber, ex-US House member Nolan, and practically every politician from either major political party that one can think of. The high potential for sudden environmental disasters similar to Samarco, Mount Polley (British Columbia) and now Brumadinho, Brazil (plus a hundred others since global mineral extractions by huge corporations began). 

“ALL tailings “ponds” are a problem. If they don’t breach and spill massive amounts of toxic sludge into the environment like at Mount Polley, they leach that contamination slowly, poisoning the waters and lands (and aquifers) around them for centuries.” — From: http://canadians.org/blog/update-mount-polley-mine-disaster-imperial-metals-and-government-focus-covering-instead.

Before reading further, click on https://www.minnpost.com/sites/default/files/attachments/St%20Louis%20River%20watershed%20map.pdf to examine what comprises the St Louis River watershed, considered sacred by our native American forerunners.

More

Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

Leave a comment

Source: therevelator.org

New analysis reveals that we have much less water in our aquifers than we previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put that at even greater risk.

by Tara Lohan

We’re living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That’s probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the United States, we may have much less water than previously thought.

“We found that the average depth of water resources across the country was about half of what people had previously estimated,” says Jennifer McIntosh, a distinguished scholar and professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

McIntosh and her colleagues — who published a new study about these aquifers in November in Environmental Research Letters — took a different approach to assessing groundwater than other research, which has used satellites to measure changes in groundwater storage. For example, a 2015 study looked at 37 major aquifers across the world and found some were being depleted faster than they were being replenished, including in California’s agriculturally intensive Central Valley.

McIntosh says those previous studies revealed a lot about how we’re depleting water resources from the top down through extraction, such as pumping for agriculture and water supplies, especially in places like California.

But McIntosh and three other researchers wanted to look at groundwater from a different perspective: They examined how we’re using water resources from the bottom up. More

Pick Your Poison: The Fracking Industry’s Wastewater Injection Well Problem

Leave a comment

Source:  desmogblog.com

“The closer a company injects fracking wastewater (and all the salts and pollutants that may come with it) to aquifers supplying freshwater for drinking and agriculture, the more likely those aquifers will be contaminated. In the recent University of Texas paper, researchers call out this increased likelihood in the country’s highest producing shale play, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.”

by Justin Mikulka

The first known oil well in Oklahoma happened by accident. It was 1859 and Lewis Ross was actually drilling for saltwater(brine), not oil. Brine was highly valued at the time for the salt that could be used to preserve meat. As Ross drilled deeper for brine, he hit oil. And people have been drilling for oil in Oklahoma ever since.

Lewis Ross might find today’s drilling landscape in the Sooner State somewhat ironic. The oil and gas industry, which has surging production due to horizontal drilling and fracking, is pumping out huge volumes of oil but even more brine. So much brine, in fact, that the fracking industry needs a way to dispose of the brine, or “produced water,” that comes out of oil and gas wells because it isn’t suitable for curing meats. In addition to salts, these wastewaters can contain naturally occurring radioactive elements and heavy metals.

But the industry’s preferred approaches for disposing of fracking wastewater — pumping it underground in either deep or shallow injection wells for long-term storage — both come with serious risks for nearby communities.

In Oklahoma, drillers primarily use deep injection wells for storing their wastewater from fracked shale wells, and while the state was producing the same amount of oil in 1985 as in 2015, something else has changed. The rise of the fracking industry in the central U.S. has coincided with a rise in earthquake activity.

From 1975 to 2008, Oklahoma averaged from one to three earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater a year. But by 2014, the state averaged 1.6 of these earthquakes a dayIt now has a website that tracks them in real time.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

The Precautionary Principle, the Politics of Selfishness and the Influence of Right-Wing Think Tanks

1 Comment

Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 10-23-2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FASCISM DOESN’T COME CHEAP

“Working mostly with data from Facebook and other social media sites, they are able to determine what people want to hear and how they want to hear it. Cambridge Analytica based much of its model on research done by Cambridge University’s Psychometric Centre which earlier published an online personality quiz that went viral. In the UK there are ethical guidelines about how such data can be used and according to Professor Johathan Rush, the Centre’s director, as quoted in the Guardian article:

“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour.  It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Precautionary Principle: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to environmental or human health, exploitation by any corporate or personal entity that could damage the environment or the health of humans must be delayed until there is absolute scientific certainty that damage can be totally averted.” 

The point, ladies and gentleman, is that greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) from the movie Wall Street

“The economic system in the USA is not capitalism. Rather, it is corporate fascism, individualism and money worship, not capitalism.”Anonymous

”Environment Canada reported that the metallic contaminants that had been dumped in the tailings pond included these hazardous metals: Lead, Arsenic, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Vanadium, Antimony, Manganese and Mercury.” (Note that Mount Polley was a copper mine whose massive tailings lagoon earthen dam [130 feet tall] dissolved in 2014, suddenly releasing 24,000,000 million cubic meters of toxic sludge into the tiny Hazeltine Creek, the nearby Lake Polley and then into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which flowed into the 600 mile long Fraser River, a migratory Sockeye salmon-bearing river that empties into the Georgia Strait and the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver, B.C. The dam wall breech resulted in the worst environmental disaster in the history of British Colombia)

“ALL tailings “ponds” are problems. If they don’t breach and spill massive amounts of toxic sludge into the environment like at Mount Polley, they leach that contamination slowly, poisoning the waters and lands around them.” — From: http://canadians.org/blog/update-mount-polley-mine-disaster-imperial-metals-and-government-focus-covering-instead;

____________________________________________________________________________

Last night in Duluth, Minnesota (10-22-2018) a small, Minnesota-based, right-wing, Libertarian think tank, the Center of the American Experiment (CAE), came to town to do a one-sided, propagandistic, fact-free promotion supporting the foreign penny stock mining company, PolyMet and its plans to dig an experimental, inherently dangerous, highly toxic, open pit copper/nickel sulfide mine in water-rich northern Minnesota near the headwaters of the St Louis River.

What was likely not discussed at the pro-corporate presentation (to which nobody opposing copper-nickel mining was invited) was the fact that PolyMet’s massive open pit mine has to have an even more massive, highly toxic waste/tailings lagoon nearby that would eventually store, behind 250 foot high (!) earthen dam (!) walls, billions of gallons (!) of eternally-poisonous, highly acidic (sulfuric acid with a pH of stomach acid) mine sludge for generations or centuries (absent, of course a locally heavy rain deluge that could easily cause a sudden, unexpected breech in the earthen dam walls, resulting in what could potentially be the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Minnesota).

More

Department of Interior Wants To Destroy Records of Oil & Gas Leasing, Mining, Wells, Timber Sales and Much More

4 Comments

Public submission

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Federal agencies don’t keep most of their records forever. At some point, they’re legally allowed to destroy the majority of them.

But when? And which records? That’s up to the agency and the National Archives (with some input from the public, at least in theory).

In an overlooked process that’s been going on for decades, agencies create a “Request for Records Disposition Authority” that gives details about the documents, then proposes when they can be destroyed (e.g., three years after the end of the fiscal year, 50 years after they’re no longer needed, etc.). Occasionally, agencies propose keeping some documents permanently, which means eventually transferring them to the National Archives.

The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) then “appraises” the agency’s Request for Records Disposition Authority, almost always giving the greenlight.

Around this point, the agency’s request and NARA’s appraisal are announced in the Federal Register. They are not published in the Register, nor are they posted to the Register website (including Regulations.gov). Their existence is simply noted.

Dept. of the Interior is asking for permission to destroy records about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, wild horses & burros and lots more. It’s also wanting to permanently retain a smaller subset of documents in each category, which will be transferred to the National Archives, where they will become harder to access via FOIA.

This is crucial stuff. In the months, years, and decades ahead, if you get “records destroyed” responses, or a vague “no records” response, from NPS, BLM, FWS, BIA, etc., this could be the root cause.

Comment period has been extended to Nov. 23, 2018   READ MORE HERE↓

More

The Battle to Protect Nebraska Land from Big OIL

Leave a comment

 


Make sure your voice is heard. Sign-on to stop Keystone XL.

Marti —

While we are continuing to challenge the Trump administration’s rubber-stamp approval of the federal permit for Keystone XL in the courts, Trump’s State Department recently opened a public comments docket for an “Environmental Assessment” of the new Mainline Alternative route for KXL in Nebraska.

This new route includes land in Nebraska counties that has never before undergone environmental review, and where landowners never knew until now — after all the years of public hearings and submitting comments — that KXL might be plowing through their farms, and had no due process and chance to make their voices heard.

Basically, there’s a huge list of problems with this illegal review. It’s an attempt to shoe-horn a review of private property in Nebraska by a federal agency with no authority over that land, into an illegally outdated environmental review of KXL from 2014, in clear violation of the bedrock National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

But we still need to make our voices heard. Despite this illegal sham review process that’s been set in motion — which we will continue to fight in the courts — it’s critical that Nebraskans especially, but all Pipeline Fighters sign on and tell the Trump administration they are opposed to Keystone XL.

Action: Sign-on to Bold’s #NoKXL comment to Trump’s State Department.

We’ve composed a sample comment you can sign-on to, that covers all the bases on protesting this illegal process with the same arguments our attorneys are using in court, and includes key issues of concern for Nebraska’s land, water and property rights, and sovereign rights of Indigenous nations. You may also edit the language, or add your own personal statement to the comment.

*Important: If you are a landowner on the new “Mainline Alternative” route, please contact mark@boldnebraska.org for assistance with submitting your comment. For instance, if you have water crossings, or known endangered species or wildlife habitat on your land, be sure to include exact locations and detailed information about them in your comments. 

The deadline to submit a public comment is June 25th. 

Act now: Sign on to Bold’s #NoKXL comment.

Thanks for standing with us. 

Mark and the Bold team

P.S. Chip in to support Bold’s work to stop Keystone XL.

@Bold Nebraska on Twitter
Bold Nebraska on Facebook

Bold Nebraska
208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325
Hastings, NE 68901 US

 

Minnesota: Copper Mining Tailings Ponds are not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things (and Neither are Hydrofluoric Acid Storage Tanks)

Leave a comment

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – May 8, 2018

Duty to Warn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Open Letter to the Affected Mayors, City Councilors and Assorted Thought Leaders who Inhabit the Areas Downstream and Downwind

The first (of many) junior mining companies that want to mine copper in northeast Minnesota’s water-rich, relatively unspoiled forest and lakes region is the PolyMet Mining Corporation that is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

PolyMet is a Canadian Penny Stock mining company that you can buy on the NYSE for 81 cents a share. It’s peak share price over the past 12 months was $1.36 a share, but it isn’t on anybody “buy” list at the moment.

PolyMet has never mined anything in its life and has never earned a single penny producing anything of value. It is a front group for Glencore, a multinational mining, commodities and oil and gas trading company that is based in Switzerland. Both corporations prefer doing business hidden behind boardroom walls. PolyMet’s daily operations are mostly funded by greedy institutional investors and loans from the deep-pocketed Glencore. Neither corporation should have any credibility in the minds of right-thinking individuals. I will explain that statement later in the column.

In January 2011, Glencore and PolyMet, signed a secret agreement that guaranteed that Glencore could buy controlling interest in PolyMet with the right to convert it’s debt into equity. It is public knowledge that Glencore also has the rights to sell all the metal that is mined in the first 5 years of production in the world’s markets.

Contrary to PolyMet’s talking points about being good citizens by producing copper for all of our needs, none of the copper that is mined by PolyMet might ever be utilized here at home. More

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: