Dear Editor,

What economic damage has already been done by Canadian Aquila Resources?

With approximately 44 miles of Menominee River frontage from Stephenson to Marinette, what used to be premium-priced real estate has suffered declining value due to the threat of the proposed Back Forty Mine.

A Chicago woman called me to inquire about the status of the mine because her father gave her $130,000 to build a cabin on their river lot just south of the proposed mine site. After our conversation, she decided to keep her money and not invest it in a cabin. So, how many people lost income from the threat of the mine? Contractors, builders, electricians, plumbers, building supply companies, plus the township and county — from a lost tax base.

Just the threat of the Back Forty proposed mine for the past 18 years has cost our local economy a fortune, by impeding progress.

We tell ourselves we are a civilized nation with manmade laws to establish peace and tranquility. In many years as safety coordinator in a 1,500-team-member facility, I discovered and studied traits of human behavior. When policies, procedures and laws fail, man will sometimes step across the line into “righteous anger,” much like Jesus did when he threw the money changers out of the temple. There is no law that will curtail this type of action, which is similar to animal instinct — when man feels his water, home or even his children are threatened. I have witnessed results up to and including murder.

We are faced with PFAS contamination in Marinette and Peshtigo. Tyco was aware of it since 2013, but decided not to report their findings. Why not? Is this gross negligence, or worse ... manslaughter? Who’s going to prison? Where are the laws?

This is a classic example of corporate protection for the violators. Was it your mother, son or grandson who was just diagnosed with cancer? Where’s the justice? Or is there justice anymore?

This PFAS issue is reactive. The damage is done; now, how can we mitigate the problem? This particular chemical chain is a “forever” chemical, and we may never see a total cleanup of this region. But, we still have a chance to be proactive and maintain the water quality that is threatened by the Back Forty (Mine).

It is a proven fact that you can’t change the law of physics. Acid mine drainage coupled with cyanide will definitely contaminate the Menominee River. There has never been a sulfide mine that has not polluted the water and environment. Never.

It’s better to want something you’ve never had, than to have something you’ve never wanted! Stop the Back Forty Mine.

 

Dale Burie

President of the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River