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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

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Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, to talk about mining contamination of U.S. waters, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/21/17)

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painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 21, 2017 More

Public Service Commission Hearing on Keystone XL in O’Neill

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After heeding our calls to provide more opportunities for the public to make our concerns heard about the Keystone XL tarsands export pipeline, the Nebraska Public Service Commission will hold a second “public meeting” tomorrow — Wednesday, June 7th (12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) in O’Neill, Nebraska. More

How a Judge Scrapped Pennsylvania Families’ $4.24M Water Pollution Verdict in Gas Drilling Lawsuit

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Source:  desmogblog.com

Ray Kemble

By Sharon Kelly and Steve Horn

For many residents of Carter Road in Dimock, Pennsylvania, it’s been nearly a decade since their lives were turned upside down by the arrival of Cabot Oil and Gas, a company whose Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) wells were plagued by a series of spills and other problems linked to the area’s contamination of drinking water supplies.

With a new federal court ruling handed down late last Friday, a judge unwound a unanimous eight-person jury which had ordered Cabot to pay a total of $4.24 million over the contamination of two of those families’ drinking water wells. In a 58 page ruling, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson discarded the jury’s verdict in Ely v. Cabot and ordered a new trial, extending the legal battle over one of the highest-profile and longest-running fracking-related water contamination cases in the country.

In his order, Judge Carlson chastised the plaintiff’s lawyers for “repeatedly inviting the jury to engage in unwarranted speculation” and wrote that, in his personal estimation, the plaintiffs had not presented enough evidence to warrant the jury’s $4.24 million in damages. The original complaint for the case was filed in November 2009.

Nonetheless, Judge Carlson declined to throw out the lawsuit entirely, ordering Cabot to re-start settlement talks with the Ely and Hubert families. If those talks fail, the trial process will begin anew, extending the already years-long legal battle into months or even years to come.

“The judge heard the same case that the jury heard and the jury was unanimous,” Nolan Scott Ely, the lead plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. “How can he take it upon himself to set aside their verdict? It’s outrageous.”

Retrials “Not as Rare”

Over time, Judge Carlson’s order noted, the plaintiffs’ legal complaints had been successfully winnowed down by Cabot, which was represented at trial by several lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright, the tenth highest-grossing law firm in the world in 2016. The case now centers around a nuisance complaint.

Ely, whose background is in construction work, and his family and neighbors were represented at trial by a solo practitioner, Leslie Lewis, assisted by one other attorney. During one brief stint in the years leading up to the trial, the two families had no lawyer at all, but represented themselves. When the case began, they had the assistance of the firms Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik & Associates and the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm (the former employer of Lewis), which ushered in a settlement agreement with some of the 44 original plaintiffs.

But Ely and others were not satisfied with the offer, which included a non-disclosure agreement, and decided to proceed with the lawsuit.

John-Mark Stensvaag, an environmental law professor at the University of Iowa, said that orders to re-try cases “are not as rare as one might think.”

“This does not mean that the plaintiffs have no case,” he added, “it only means that, in [Judge Carlson’s] opinion, they have not presented a case justifying the jury’s verdict and should be given a second opportunity to present an adequate case.”

The Ely family leaves the federal courthouse on the first day of trial in 2016. Credit: Laura Evangelisto © 2016

Carter Road Water Contamination

There’s little question that something is very wrong with the water on Carter Road, despite lingering questions in the legal battles centering around that contaminated water.

In 2016, shortly after the Elys and Huberts’ $4.24 million verdict, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report concluding that Dimock’s tainted waters carried dangerous levels of chemicals including arsenic, lithium, and 4-chlorophenyl phenyl ether (which is acutely toxic if swallowed). Further, the water was laced with enough methane that five of the homes on Carter Road had been at risk of exploding. Indeed, on New Year’s Day 2009, one of Dimock’s contaminated drinking water wells did explode.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

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

Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers

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strip bannernew-logo25 Debbie Coffey   V.P. Wild Horse Freedom Federation

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I repeat, wild horses being driven to extinction by the BLM is the canary in the coal mine of what is happening on America’s public lands and to America’s water.  –  Debbie Coffey

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 Texan Cowboy Man Seated Backwards on a Steer, The Reins Tied to the Tail Clipart

SOURCE:  nbcbayarea.com

In a time when California faces an historic drought, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has uncovered that state officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump billions of gallons of waste water into protected aquifers. Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock reports in a story that aired on November 14, 2014.

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.

Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.

“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”

California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”

“There have been past issues where permits were issued to operators that they shouldn’t be injecting into those zones and so we’re fixing that,” Marshall added.

In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of. More

Alberta Canada’s experience with Keystone operations

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strip bannerDNRE-Kalamazoo-River

Note:  Every effort is being made to force the passage of the Keystone pipeline.  This bill WILL NOT give the US any form of energy independence as all crude is slated to be shipped out of the country and into the global market.  Upon completion, it will provide only 35-42 permanent jobs.  This is a steep price to pay for land devastation, water contamination, spills, leaks and the dumping of toxic waste materials in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  This pipeline will also violate private property rights.

As all of this oil is slated for shipment out of the country, it would have been more cost efficient for Keystone to run a line west through Canadian states to its west coast.  But guess what!  Canadians aren’t having it!  Thats why Keystone is trying to invade the US and cause catastrophic damage here.

By the way:  Even with the horrendous history of just the last four months involving spills, leaks, water contamination etc., listed in the article below……Keystone will NOT be liable for any spills, cleanup or damage to land and water here in the US. 

And you can thank Republican’s for this fiasco!

There’s Been HOW Many Pipeline Spills in Alberta in The Last Four Months??

DailyKos

Alberta, Canada is basically a petro state. Oil and gas production rule everything and it’s happening everywhere in the north of the province. Pipelines criss cross most of Alberta. As a result, leaks of wells, facilities and pipelines are a constant thing all over the province. More

Minnesota: The Keystone Pipeline is not the Key to Prosperity

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

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www_Sticker_Tk_kiss_my_assThe Senate is preparing to vote on the Keystone Pipeline.  Mary Landreiu led the Democrats as she shilled for the pipeline.  The trade off of course is, that the Democrats will ok the pipeline and  Republicans will be caving in on immigration…..which of course will supply a really cheap labor force that can be exploited.  Its a win! Win!

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Spill response ‘inadequate’ for tar sands crude on Great Lakes

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DNRE-Kalamazoo-RiverMichigan Department of Natural Resources, via Flickr

Oil in the Kalamazoo River on July 28, 2010, three days after an Enbridge pipeline burst, causing the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history. The spill was particularly difficult to clean up because some of the oil sank.

By: Kate Golden

Oil that sinks is hard to clean up. More

Big AG: Destroying our land, water and our farmers

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley                                  (c) copyright 2013 All rights reserved

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) estimates that the waters in 27% of the southern half of Minnesota have reached critical levels in nitrogen contamination and that overall 41% of all lakes and streams have far higher than accepted and so-called “safe levels” of nitrogen contamination in addition to atrazine and glysophate contamination.

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Industrialized corporate farming Chemical Footprints

Our family farms have virtually disappeared.  In their place are massive, squalid industrial farming and ranching operations.  The result of this industrialization is low quality food contaminated with vaccines, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides and hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals we are not even allowed to know about.

The conversion, predominately over the last thirty years, from traditional farming to chemical barn_dees4farming is devastating the land and water, especially in agricultural states such as those in the mid-west.  The result is chemical contamination and toxicity of land and water, now reaching critical levels and accumulating in our rivers and streams.  Many of these same rivers and streams are emptying into the Mississippi, Cedar and Missouri Rivers and end up in the Gulf of Mexico contributing to the “dead zone”; an oxygen depleted area in the Gulf where nothing grows or lives.  This area is enlarging each year.  Much of our historically productive agricultural land and our water is on the verge of being reduced to a chemical laden soup unfit for use.

While the carping continues by vested interests regarding our so-called carbon footprints, and while the government continues its already debunked “global warming” scam, may be its time someone looked into the toxic chemical footprint being imprinted on our land and in our water by  industrialized corporate farming.  The promises of bigger more valuable crops, capable of feeding the world have been dismissed as the reality of agricultural monopolies protected by government, produce less than desirable crops, severely lacking in nutritional value. More

Texas commissioners push for landfill against public demands

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new-logo25PLEASE SIGN PETITION Posted by Debbie Coffey _______________________________________________________________________

Web site of Waller/Hempstead anti landfill group—    http://www.stophwy6landfill.com/

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There is a landfill planned in Texas, near many horse rescues and where horses (and their humans) depend on clean groundwater. Please sign this petition, started by Tobi Kosanke, on Change.org:

Tobi Kosanke wrote this: At today’s Commissioner’s Court meeting, Commissioners Sylvia Cedillo and Otis Styers voted to sue the TCEQ for not recognizing Waller County's ordinance against landfills, including the Pintail landfill. Judge Beckendorff and Commissioners Kitzman and Podluka voted to amend the ordinance to permit the Pintail landfill, dealing a crushing blow to the health and economy of Hempstead and the surrounding Waller County area. In response, Commissioners Cedillo and Styers resigned. It was gut-wrenching to watch citizen after citizen after citizen stand up and plead with the Commission to support the ordinance and their constituents, only to witness our elected officials support the landfill company instead.

That this can happen in America is astounding. We expect the people we vote into office to represent us, their constituents. In this case, the constituents overwhelmingly demanded, pleaded, begged and insisted that the Commissioners vote to insure that this landfill not be built. But our local officials acted like dictators and voted against the health and financial well being of the people who elected them. More

BLM overlooks arsenic & mercury, but gets rid of wild horses

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Debbie Coffey     © Copyright 2012  All Rights Reserved.

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BLM overlooks arsenic & mercury, but gets rid of wild horses

In 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gave the green light to the expansion of a mining project within the Triple B Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada, even knowing about mercury in the watershed and higher levels of arsenic in the surface water. Since grazing allotments seem to be in the hydrographic basin with “mercury deposition contributions to the watershed,” this would seem to put human food and health at risk. The BLM turned a blind eye and approved this project, and now they’re falling all over themselves to declare there’s not enough water for the wild horses because of “drought” and they now plan to waste taxpayer dollars on water trapping, and later helicopter roundups, to remove the wild horses.

But you can’t say they’re not rosy optimists. In the 2009 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Bald Mountain Mine (the mining project given approval to expand operations), under Surface Water, BLM states:

 “In general, established background water quality levels are good with the exception of arsenic, which exceeds the 0.05 mg/l Nevada water quality standard.”

In other words, the water quality is good, except for all the arsenic, which is higher than a safe level. How much does it exceed the Nevada water quality standard?

It kind of makes you wonder if part of the BLM’s hurry to remove wild horses is to avoid having a bunch of horses drop dead in a pile somewhere from water contamination. Not that the BLM would care about the horses, but they wouldn’t want anything to further damage their poor (and continually plummeting) public image.

It seems that BLM’s idea of a “thriving ecological balance” and concern about “degradation to the range” is very selective. The only thing “green” about this is the money that’s being raked in while public lands are being raped. Again, the BLM has asked for public comments, which again, they will ignore. My comment about their latest plan to get rid of the wild horses is: More

OPEN LETTER TO THE BLM:Regarding the “Desatoya Mountains Habitat Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project”

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 Debbie Coffey                 Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved.

(You might question the BLM’s project title after reading below. There’s nothing resilient or healthy about it. And not to malign BLM employees at local Field Offices – public lands planning comes from the President, Congress, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey.)

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Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management
Carson City District
Stillwater Field Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, Nevada 89701
desatoyaEA@blm.gov

BLM’s statements in the Environmental Assessment (EA) are italicized, and author’s comments are not italicized.

Introduction
“The project area encompasses approximately 230,000 acres, which includes …136,400 acres of the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA) (84% of the HMA).”

The Desatoya HMA is about 161,000 acres, and the BLM is only leaving 127-180 wild horses on the HMA that is primarily for their use. That is only one horse every
1,267.7 acres – one horse every 894.4 acres.

If there is not enough water or forage for the wild horses, this can only be from misappropriation of land uses allowed and facilitated by the BLM, which is mismanagement. When did the BLM last monitor the HMA for carrying capacity? Please send me documents related to any recent monitoring.

Within the project area, up to approximately 32,705 acres of ground disturbing treatments are proposed over a ten year period including…herbicide treatment… Page 83 – In fact, 2,4-D has limited residual activity (2 weeks); therefore any incidental contamination risk to non-target plants would likely be negligible.”

When considering plants, animals, water and humans, note that:

The EPA says that 2,4-D is seventh largest source of dioxin in the U.S.
Dioxin DCDD that contaminates 2,4-D herbicide is not tested, measured or monitored by the EPA, or even regulated. A Canadian research paper states that dioxin DCDD may have large public health implications due to its prevalence in our food and environment.

DCDD is one of the hundreds of kinds of dioxin – (TCDD is the worst, but DCDD may be equi-potent): More

Parents Should be Warned: Fluoridated Water is Not Recommended for Infants

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Contacts:
Paul Connett, Director of FAN, at media@fluoridealert.org
Stuart Cooper, FAN’s Campaign Director at stuart@fluoridealert.org

 I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn’t only affect teeth, it can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones, and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development. A public awareness campaign is urgently needed

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A new study confirms infants fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water are at greater risk of developing discolored teeth (dental fluorosis). (1) The American Dental Association (ADA) warned dentists about this in 2006 but has done little or nothing to inform the nearly 200 million Americans who live in communities with fluoridated drinking water. More

Bob Abbey’s BLM “Horse Harvesting” Machine Continues to Roll

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Live Link: Straight from the Horses Heart

Now if the BLM used half way humane methods of rounding up horses, perhaps we all wouldn’t have sat up and noticed and gotten this outraged.  Using a contractor that has been convicted of killing wild horses? Using Walmart bag whip sticks instead of natural horsemanship? Stuffing scared wild horses in trucks and driving them for hours right after they ran for miles and miles? Rounding them up in the middle of foaling season, in the middle of extreme temperatures?

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Guest Op-Ed by Simone Netherlands of Respect4Horses.com

From the highway it is a beautiful sight. A giant blue lake, with greenery all around and the desert mountains behind it in the stark blue summer sky. Its hard to take your eyes off of the scenery, so be careful driving. Far off in the distance you can barely make out some moving dots next to the lake. They are easily mistaken for a large herd of cows, many blacks and some whites and greys. But they are definitely not cows, they are a most magnificent herd of wild and free roaming horses living in a most spectacular peace of nature, still untouched by man.

Kudo, (founder of Animal Recovery Mission in Miami, working to close the horrendous illegal slaughter farms there) and myself, (founder of Respect4horses in Arizona), have decided to temporarily veer off of our main courses a bit to join forces and go document the wild horse roundups in Twin Peaks, CA. As we are driving on the road towards Fallon, where we want to visit the broken arrow holding facility, we noticed the lake and the dots along side of it and we decide to turn around, just to check in case they might be horses. I am so glad that we did. More

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