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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

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Duty to Warn

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

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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.

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Corporate Sociopaths Out of NE Minnesota! And that includes Canada’s PolyMet, Canada’s Twin Metals, Switzerland’s Glencore and Chile’s Antofagasta

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Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 5-29-2018

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“Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person.” — Anonymous

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In 2010 the pro-corporate 5/4 United States Supreme Court decided, in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling that favored multi-billionaire corporate elites and their trans-national corporations by making it easier for them to steal US elections by allowing unlimited, anonymous monetary “contributions”/bribes to both major US political parties, political action groups and the many politicians who were then beholden to their newest corporate paymasters.

The Citizen’s United ruling, which should go down in the history books as the “worst Supreme Court decision of the past century”, has emboldened the already powerful, corruptible and endlessly greedy corporations – that already own or somehow have dominion over the economy, the government and the media – to now also be able to have intimate access to any number of campaign fund-needy politicians to do their will whenever their desired legislation comes up for a vote.

Money Doesn’t Just Talk, It Screams

It is impossible for progressive voters to match the influence that comes from the huge amounts of anonymous campaign money from corporations such as is coming from foreign mining companies. And the monetary influence is aimed at politicians from all the political parties who take corporate money namely Democrats and Republicans. 

This reality explains why progressive northeast Minnesota voters are always having to swallow hard when going to the polls to vote for the latest DFL candidate who is in the process of betraying voters on environmental issues such as the most recent copper mining issue that will eventually spell environmental disaster for everybody, including pro-business, climate change denying conservatives who live downstream from the proposed mines and their massive polluted tailings lagoons.. More

Sample Comments Regarding PolyMet’s Permit Application to Construct a Copper Mining Tailings Lagoon in Northern Minnesota

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Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 9-19-2017

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To the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), regarding PolyMet’s most recent permitting request: 

(Email address: NorthMetPermitting.DNR@state.mn.us):

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Here are my reasons that the DNR should reject PolyMet’s permit applications for their earthen tailings dam, their liquid slurry pipeline pumping operation and their open pit sulfide mine near the headwaters of the St Louis River:

For starters, it is critically important to understand that the foreign Penny Stock company called PolyMet has a current share price of $0.63 per share, down from $1.50 per share in 2014. PolyMet, a total amateur in the business, has never operated a single mine in its short corporate life nor has it earned a single penny from mining. Their only income comes from selling shares to speculators and borrowing money from investors to pay their executives and employees. In addition, PolyMet, being an inanimate money-making corporation (that by definition has no conscience), cannot be trusted to tell the public about all the risks to the environment (including wildlife, fish, water, soil and air) that their exploitation of the earth could generate.

Therefore PolyMet can be expected to hide the fact that their operations could easily cause a massive environmental catastrophe similar to what happened at Mount Polley, British Columbia in 2014 (carefully study the article further below for the frightening details). Mount Polley was a state of the art copper mining operation.

Every citizen stakeholder that is potentially adversely affected by PolyMet’s operatioin deserves to be fully informed by (theoretically) unbiased regulators such as the MN DNR about the potentially catastrophic risk to the water users who happen to live downstream from the massive tailings lagoon, whose (eventual) 250 foot high earthen dam is at a high risk of failing in some way or other sometime in the future, especially in the event of a large deluge of rain, an earthquake or a design flaw that could cause the earthen dam to dissolve, leak, over-top or structurally fail in some other way, including being damaged by sabotage. The risks will exist for eternity, since the toxic metals (see list below) in the lagoon will never degrade into non-toxic forms.

In addition, the vulnerable pipeline that will carry the toxic sludge from the processing plant to the slurry pond is at high risk of sabotage, with serious environmental contamination that could possibly be even worse than the bursting of a dirty frack oil pipeline such as could happen from the foreign pipeline company Enbridge as it transports dirty oil from the tar sands in Canada or from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. I don’t believe that PolyMet has dealt with the possibility of sabotage.

Up to this point, both PolyMet and Twin Metals (and all of the governmental agencies that have been involved in the approval process) have been seriously neglectful in educating the public about all the potential lethal dangers of either the pipeline or the massive amount of toxic liquids that will forever cause the deaths of any water bird that lands on the lake-like lagoon (a la Butte, Montana’s ever-lastingly poisonous mining tailings “pond” and the nearby defunct Berkeley open pit mine [now a toxic “lake”] that has had its water pumps shut down and is now nearly filled to the brim with poisonous water that has high levels of dissolved toxic metals and a pH approximating that of stomach acid!). More

Minnesota: The PolyMet Copper Mine Project and the Lethal Risks to Lake Superior

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new-logo251_002Gary G. Kohls, MD – 1-31-17

Duty to Warn

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“Northern Minnesotans, Native American Water Protectors ( like the heroes at Standing Rock), sportsmen, environmentalists, downstream businesses, wild rice harvesters, fish, game, birds and just plain working folks whose babies and other vulnerable beings with developing brains need non-toxic water to thrive or simply survive must understand that such relatively common catastrophes could destroy the aquifers in the BWCAW, Birch Lake, the Partridge River, the Embarrass River, the St. Louis River, the city of Duluth and ultimately, Lake Superior.”

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The PolyMet Project and the Lethal Risks to the St Louis River Watershed and Lake Superior

It’s an Acceptable Risk for Foreign Investors to Take, but What About Us?

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 around them.”  —

Last year, Duluth News-Tribune published a Local News article with the title “EPA signals its support for final PolyMet review”.

The article ended with what I regard as an intentionally deceptive and woefully insufficient sentence: “Critics say the project is likely to taint downstream waters with acidic runoff”. More

Amy Goodman’s Legal Charges Concerning the Standing Rock Water Protests Dismissed

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Duty to Warn

new-logo25By Gary G. Kohls, MD

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“Everybody agrees that the Bakken oil discovery has cursed North Dakota in a multitude of ways. It has disrupted local communities with sex trafficking, drug trafficking, de-stabilizing inflationary pressures on everything, over-building of ramshackle lodging and the permanent poisoning of the land and underground water supplies because of the use of highly toxic fracking chemicals.”

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Energy Transfer Partner’s “Black Snake” (the Dakota Access Pipeline) is at Risk of Being Beheaded

This Monday, October 17, I watched some dramatic live coverage from Mandan, North Dakota on Democracy Now’s website. It is now available for viewing by anybody with online access.

The coverage showed the celebration of the official dismissal of the trumped up legal charges against Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman for 1) criminal trespassing and 2) incitement to riot that followed her investigative journalistic efforts earlier this fall as she and the Democracy Now crew were reporting on the efforts of nonviolent indigenous “water protectors” who are trying to protect their sacred water from corporate usurpers. North Dakota’s response to the nonviolent action of unarmed people was embarrassingly uber-militaristic. The state mounted a Gestapo-like defense in support of a giant multinational corporation that thinks it has a right to do whatever it wants to do with the planet’s dwindling and increasingly polluted natural resources.

The corporation involved this time is called Energy Transfer Partners, and it is threatening the drinkable Missouri River water with its multi-billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL, aka, the “Black Snake” that is mentioned further below).

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and their wealthy/greedy investors are in cahoots with equally greedy, gigantic, amoral mining corporations, oil corporations and investment banks, all of which are quite willing to exploit and even permanently poison public land, public water, public air and, by extension, the people who depend on the purity of those resources – all for the love of the almighty dollar.

Such sociopathic behaviors by corrupt crony capitalist entities are occurring all over the planet, including here in northern Minnesota (Enbridge, and the penny stock companies PolyMet and NorthMet are just three examples of extractive industries that are threatening the purity of just the St Louis River estuary that supplies sustenance to points south, including Duluth, Minnesota and the Great Lakes.) More

Call Governor Dayton: PolyMet would do more harm than good

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mining-truth-bannerYou’ve objected to PolyMet’s mine plan with regulators, now call Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and tell him that MiningTruth_SulfideAd2_300x250-20151105PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine would do more harm than good.

Governor Dayton says he will make the final decision on whether to grant PolyMet a permit, and that it will be the most momentous and difficult decision he’ll make as Governor. We agree. That’s why it’s so important that you call and tell him how you feel about PolyMet’s sulfide mine proposal.

Call him right now at 800-657-3717 FREE. You can leave a message 24 hours a day.

Be sure to tell Governor Dayton that you’re concerned about the PolyMet sulfide mine proposal and tell him why you care. The most important thing is for you to pick up the phone and tell the Governor what you think – it doesn’t need to be perfect. Not sure what to say? Here’s a sample of a brief message:

My name is ____________ and I live in (city). I’m calling because I’m concerned about the impact that PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine would have on Minnesota’s water. I think PolyMet would do more harm than good. Pollution from PolyMet threatens our clean water quality legacy and would pollute water for hundreds of years after the mine has closed. I think that’s a bad deal for Minnesotans. Thank you Governor Dayton for taking responsibility for making this decision – please put Minnesota’s water first when deciding on PolyMet.

The phone number is 800-657-3717 FREE. When you’re done, would you share this with your friends and family on social media? Use the share buttons below to get the momentum going.

By speaking up, we’ll protect Minnesota’s clean water from PolyMet’s pollution. Thanks again for taking action!

MINING TRUTH

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