EARTHWORKS

Pebble Mine: another bad example!

Bonnie Gestring's avatar
By Bonnie Gestring

November 7, 2011

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The Flambeau Mine in Wisconsin has been reclaimed since this picture, but it still pollutes the Flambeau River.

The Pebble Limited Partnership profiled the Flambeau mine as a reclamation success story in its latest newsletter article. 

What they don't mention about the mine is its on-going copper pollution.  But, it's all over the recent news.  "In the most recent tests, state records show that copper and zinc levels have exceeded state toxicity standards for surface waters, potentially threatening fish and other aquatic life." 

The Flambeau mine is an open pit copper gold mine in Wisconsin.  Although it operated for only four years (1993-1997), it resulted in water pollution that continues today.  "The Flambeau mine site continues to be a source of contaminants to waters of the state and efforts by Kennecott to fix the problems have been unsuccessful." - 2006 press release from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

Copper pollution is a serious concern because even very low levels of copper can harm fish - particularly salmon.  The Flambeau mine is another example of an open pit copper gold mine that's failed to prevent long-term water pollution.

And yet another reason say no to the Pebble Mine - given the tremendous threat to Bristol Bay's wild salmon fishery.

Tagged with: pebble mine, pebble limited partnership, bristol bay

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