Dear Editor,

We all know there has never been a metallic sulfide mine that hasn’t poisoned the environment and there is no reason to think it will be any different with the proposed Back 40 Mine, less than 50 yards from the Menominee River. Their permit applications already show they intend to pollute.

Use of an upstream tailings dam could be fatal. It is the cheapest method and also has the highest failure rate. Such a failure would be fatal. It would cause death, destruction, misfortune and would ruin or fail businesses, tourism and take away our clean air and water. The tailings dam would be 145 acres and 10 stories high. Failure of the dam would hurl millions of gallons of mine waste down the river into the Bay of Green Bay and beyond. This type of dam is prohibited in other countries so why would it be allowed here. Aquila says they need the cheap upstream method to enhance their profit.

This same upstream method was used in Brazil, modern mining techniques used, on Jan. 25, 2019, there was a catastrophic failure of the Brumadinho Dam where 154 people were buried alive.

The proposed mine has no financial assurance for such a catastrophic event. Where are the billions of dollars to come from to help after such an environmental disaster? Not Aquila. No, not Aquila, as they have not even one cent set aside for such an event. The burden is up to us. Why no financial assurance from Aquila? They are protecting their bottom line, not our lives, water, communities. When a disaster strikes Aquila can go back to Canada leaving us behind.

Aquila could process and construct their tailings dam further inland as there is rail service nearby but once again it would cut into their profit so our water and lives are traded for a foreign company and their corporate greed.

Our lives, homes, property values, businesses, tourism, water, air and all the living creatures should be number one, not Aquila’s concern for their bottom line.

We can see what is happening in Peshtigo with the PFAS in their water supply. We have a chance to save our water supply from the Menominee River. Once the river is polluted with sulfuric acid (battery acid) we have no water source. You cannot filter sulfuric acid from the water. The river is our only source of water so please, let’s all work together to stop the mine before it is too late — our lives matter.

Please go online to jointherivercoalition.org a nonprofit working to protect our water, air, soils, aquatic life, wildlife and people. And please donate today.

 

A. Piontek

Wallace