On Friday, March 8, 2019 at 9 AM the Ashland County Zoning committee will be meeting to move a new set of sulfide mining ordinances out of committee and on to the full board. Zoning Committee Chair Joe Rose Sr. is asking for the public to step up and testify in favor of the new ordinances. The meeting is being held in the Ashland County Board Room.
Background: After Gogebic Taconite (GTac) was driven out of the state in 2015, the Wisconsin legislature, dominated by Republicans, overturned the decades-old “prove it first” Wisconsin sulfide mining law. The old law prevented companies that had a proven record of pollution from doing business in Wisconsin. After that law was overturned, the entire state became vulnerable to possible devastating environmental damages that would be caused by such a mine.
Sulfide mining focuses on copper, gold, silver and other precious metals. According to Save the Boundary Waters:
The sulfide-ore copper mining industry has a disastrous track record. A peer-reviewed report prepared by Earthworks studied fourteen sulfide-ore copper mines representing 89% of current U.S. copper production. Of those fourteen mines, all had experienced some sort of pipeline spill or other accidental release. Thirteen of the fourteen (92%) had experienced water collection and treatment failures that resulted in significant impacts to water quality. The tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia in August 2014 shows the catastrophic potential for such failures (Earthworks 2012).
Read about the possible devastation of sulfide mining here.
Please come to the Ashland County Board Room and speak up in defense of the water.