Published: September 14, 2006
By: Ann Maest, PhD
The owners of the Rock Creek Mine have claimed publicly that the mine will protect water resources and the Cabinet Wilderness.
They further claim that the citizens of Montana do not need to worry about future environmental problems and financial liability from the extraction and processing of the ore body.
However, serious concerns about the validity of those claims have been raised by independent experts and staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado. In a state where tourism is based in large part on clean water and wilderness, can Montana afford to embark on a mining project with so many uncertainties about its environmental impact?
The following information provides a summary of the myths perpetuated by the mine owners and the basis for concern about the mine s environmental performance.