Center for Biological Diversity

Keep Sulfuric Acid Out of Minnesota's Waters

Sulfide Mine Drainage
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Mining companies want to start new mining operations in Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota for copper, nickel and other minerals. This mining — called "sulfide mining" — would bring sulfuric acid contamination to Minnesota's watersheds.

In "sulfide mining," heavy metals like copper and nickel are bonded to sulfur. When exposed to air and moisture this byproduct generates sulfuric acid, causing "acid mine drainage."

Sulfide mining has already brought terrible pollution to watersheds across the western United States. In northeastern Minnesota, depending on where the mines are located, the pollution would either flow north into the Boundary Waters or south toward Lake Superior. Acid from the sulfide mines would contaminate drinking water, endanger wildlife and hurt recreation in Minnesota's world-class waters.

Please, sign this petition to your elected officials today and tell them our state's waters and wetlands are not open to becoming an acid slurry so multinational mining companies can make a quick buck.

Then tell all your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I'm writing today to address a troubling prospect for our state: sulfuric acid contamination from mining companies prospecting for copper, nickel and other metals. So-called "acid mine drainage" from these operations has already polluted more than 12,000 miles of rivers and streams in the United States, and more than 180,000 acres of lakes and impoundments. These kinds of dangerous operations should have no place in Minnesota.

"Sulfide mining," as it’s called, has produced some of the largest and most polluted Superfund sites in the country. No mining company can point to a single sulfide mining operation more than a few years old that has not led to contamination, and newer operations can't be considered because this drainage takes at least a few years to develop.

Drainage from these mines would flow to the Boundary Waters or south toward Lake Superior. It could contaminate drinking water, harm native wildlife and hurt some of the purest recreational waters we have.

Wisconsin has already passed a "prove it first" law, insisting that a similar type of mine must be shown to operate safely elsewhere before it can be approved for that state. We already know “sulfide mining” is hazardous in other places, and we shouldn’t allow it in Minnesota.

Thank you,
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1-25 of 1773 signatures
Number Date Name Location
1773 Fri Dec 30 22:18:32 EST 2011 Denise Tugadi Nashville, TN , US
1772 Fri Dec 30 19:22:13 EST 2011 Anonymous
1771 Fri Dec 30 17:48:50 EST 2011 Anonymous Pasadena, CA , US
1770 Fri Dec 30 16:33:10 EST 2011 Rachael Kahny Cincinnati, OH , US
1769 Fri Dec 30 13:01:54 EST 2011 Charles Arnold Manchester, NH , US
1768 Fri Dec 30 12:35:31 EST 2011 Anonymous
1767 Fri Dec 30 11:44:15 EST 2011 Laurie Brooks San Marcos, TX , US
1766 Fri Dec 30 11:26:24 EST 2011 Steven Handwerker SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT , US
1765 Fri Dec 30 11:10:04 EST 2011 Elaine Barrette Jacksonville, FL , US
1764 Fri Dec 30 10:36:04 EST 2011 Brenda Bailey Eastsound, WA , US
1763 Fri Dec 30 10:35:47 EST 2011 Debra Cunningham Carlsbad, CA , US
1762 Fri Dec 30 10:08:13 EST 2011 cyndi m nelson Ridgway , CO , US
1761 Fri Dec 30 10:00:15 EST 2011 Inge Lewis Conway, SC , US
1760 Fri Dec 30 08:49:42 EST 2011 Jamie Fillmore Beaverton, OR , US
1759 Fri Dec 30 08:15:50 EST 2011 Loretta Mento Linwood , NJ , US
1758 Fri Dec 30 06:38:03 EST 2011 Coleen Shaull west bloomfield, MI , US
1757 Fri Dec 30 01:49:07 EST 2011 E K NCH, ot , RU
1756 Fri Dec 30 00:52:16 EST 2011 Tia Pearson wahiawa, HI , US
1755 Thu Dec 29 23:56:48 EST 2011 Gavin Bornholtz Grand Blanc, MI , US
1754 Thu Dec 29 23:29:17 EST 2011 Cathy Genetti-Reinhard La Selva Beach, CA , US
1753 Thu Dec 29 21:22:50 EST 2011 Dennis Kreiner Carpentersville, IL , US
1752 Thu Dec 29 21:04:13 EST 2011 Janet Novak Sonoma, CA , US
1751 Thu Dec 29 20:57:14 EST 2011 Karen Smith Calgary, AB , CA
1750 Thu Dec 29 20:52:24 EST 2011 Therese Ryan Palmdale, CA , US
1749 Thu Dec 29 19:36:16 EST 2011 Marilyn Perkins Cottonwd Hgts, UT , US
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Please take action by December 31, 2011.

Sulfuric Acid Drainage photo courtesy of MPCA