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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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Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

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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

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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.

Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests

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Under a new Wyoming law, could journalists or documentary filmmakers who might document any future protests be charged under “aids or abets” with any “favorable” coverage of the group protesting, like the Standing Rock Sioux?  What about new laws to charge oil companies who contaminate water with “ecoterrorism?”

Source:  desmogblog

By Steve Horn

On the heels of Iowa and Ohio, Wyoming has become the third state to introduce a bill criminalizing the type of activities undertaken by past oil and gas pipeline protesters.

One of the Wyoming bill’s co-sponsors even says it was inspired by the protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access pipeline, and a sheriff involved in policing those protests testified in support of the bill at a recent hearing. Wyoming’s bill is essentially a copy-paste version of template legislation produced by the conservative, corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

At the organization’s December meeting, ALEC members voted on the model bill, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which afterward was introduced in both Iowa and Ohio.

Like the ALEC version, Wyoming’s Senate File 74 makes “impeding critical infrastructure … a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), or both.” Two of the bill sponsors of SF 74, Republican Sens. Eli Bebout and Nathan Winters, are ALEC membersSF 74 has passed unanimously out of its Senate Judiciary Committee and now moves onto the full floor.

ALEC‘s model bill, in turn, was based on two Oklahoma bills, HB 1123 and HB 2128. The Sooner State bills, now official state law, likewise impose felony sentencing, 10 years in prison, and/or a $100,000 fine on individuals who “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.” As DeSmog has reported, the Iowa bill has the lobbying support of Energy Transfer Partners — the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) which runs through the state — as well as that of the American Petroleum Institute and other oil and gas industry companies.

ALEC brings together primarily Republican Party state legislators and lobbyists to enact and vote on “model” legislation at its meetings, which take place several times a year. Within different task forces at these meetings, corporate lobbyists can voice their support or critiques of bills, while also getting a vote. Those bills often then are introduced as legislation in statehouses nationwide, as in this latest example in Wyoming.

Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Wyoming has helped the state vastly increase its natural gas production and spurred pipeline build-out. However, multiple studies in recent years have also linked fracking-related activities around the small town of Pavilion to groundwater contamination.

Credit: Center for Media and Democracy        (click on image to enlarge)

Targeting ‘Ecoterrorism’

Wyoming’s bill, like the ALEC model bill and one of the Oklahoma bills, includes language implicating any organization “found to be a conspirator” and lobbing a $1 million fine on any group which “aids, abets, solicits, encourages, hires, conspires, commands, or procures a person to commit the crime of impeding critical infrastructure.”

State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leland Christensen, a Republican and one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said when he introduced the bill that legislative language was needed to hold accountable those “organizations that sponsor this kind of ecoterrorism.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Toxic Copper Mine Tailings Ponds to be Located Upstream from the St Louis River and Lake Superior

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Duty to Warn

 By Gary G. Kohls, MD

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Requesting honest information from the Minnesota DNR, the Minnesota PCA and the US Forest Service regarding the latest PolyMet project permit application:

Please respond to the concerned folks to which this email has been cc’ed, all the details of the permit that the foreign corporation Glencore has submitted to the MNDNR, MNPCA, or US Forest Service concerning the establishment and maintainance of their enormously dangerous, potentially catastrophic, toxic tailings lagoon, an entity that seems to have been conveniently ignored by the media cheerleaders and even you regulatory entities.

I don’t recall seeing any permit application published for the eventual 250 foot high earthen dams that will hold back for eternity the tens of millions of cubic meters of poisonous liquid sludge that the copper/nickel/sulfuric acid mine will inevitably produce (and need to be stored).

Anybody with any awareness of the risks of the toxic metal and sulfuric acid recognizes that the tailings lagoon MUST be the center of discussion. So far it is rarely mentioned in the occasional news bulletins.

Every copper/nickel liquid tailings pond holds the 99.8% mine waste plus the liquids that is used to pipe the dissolved powder from the processing plant to the pond.

Every copper/nickel sulfide mine in the history of mining has leaked/leached poisons into the groundwater, onto adjacent lands and into the downstream environment. This happens at all copper mine sites that are located in watery environments such as northern Minnesota. 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

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

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