Save the Boundary Waters
Mining companies are pushing to conduct a toxic new form of mining, called sulfide mining, right next to the Boundary Waters. Runoff from sulfide mining can create toxic sulfuric acid and cause mercury contamination—both of which could flow into the Boundary Waters and pollute this precious area. We need President Obama to make sure we don't risk this natural treasure by allowing dangerous sulfide mining in Boundary Waters watershed.
Mining threatens to pollute the Boundary Waters
When we’re canoeing, camping, fishing and hiking near the Boundary Waters, we’re all careful to leave the lakes and forest in the same pristine condition we found them.
So why would anyone allow a new, risky type of mining—called sulfide mining—in the area? Yet:
- Out-of-state mining companies are already doing exploratory drilling right outside the Boundary Waters.
- Runoff from this type of mining can pollute waters with sulfuric acid, heavy metals and mercury—killing fish and making water unsafe to drink.
We’re building massive public support to stand up to the mining industry and protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide mining. We’re asking President Obama to make sure we don’t risk it by allowing dangerous sulfide mining in the area.
Too important to risk
The Boundary Waters is one of the most amazing and pristine wilderness areas in the world, and the most special place in Minnesota.
But mining companies like Twin Metals are trying to conduct toxic sulfide mining right next to the Boundary Waters. Sulfide mines cause acid mine drainage, which could leach into the Boundary Waters watershed, threatening these pristine waters with sulfuric acid, heavy metals, increased mercury levels and other toxic pollution.
The Boundary Waters are too important to put at risk of this dangerous mining pollution. We can protect this Minnesota treasure by not allowing toxic sulfide mines near the Boundary Waters, but the mining companies are using their political influence and deep pockets to try to fast-track mine proposals.
Together, we can win
Members and supporters like you make it possible for our staff to do research, make our case to the media, testify in St. Paul and Washington, D.C., and demonstrate the public support necessary to deliver the protections we need for places like the Boundary Waters.
- ^ Acid mine drainage near the Boundary Waters—thirty years after exploratory drilling.
- Mining companies are pushing to conduct toxic sulfide mining right outside of the Boundary Waters.
- Sulfide mines often leach sulfuric acid and heavy metal contaminants such as mercury into groundwater and nearby waterways. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage and developmental problems.
- This kind of toxic mine drainage turns water extremely acidic and can jeopardize drinking water sources, kill fish and other wildlife and destroy the habitat they depend on.
- Pollution from proposed mines would further devastate Minnesota’s wild rice harvest, an important part of state heritage and a sacred grain for Minnesota tribal people.
- Minnesota has tried this before — and failed. In the 1970s small scale exploration operations led to acid mine drainage that still hasn’t been cleaned up. The new proposals are for much larger mines in the very same locations.