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,
This petition is no longer active.
26-50 of 1773 signatures
Number Date Name Location
1748 Thu Dec 29 19:34:39 EST 2011 William Knauber cheektowaga, NY , US
1747 Thu Dec 29 19:34:09 EST 2011 Paul Moser Richfield, OH , US
1746 Thu Dec 29 19:30:18 EST 2011 Jillana Laufer Studio City, CA , US
1745 Thu Dec 29 19:27:49 EST 2011 Anonymous
1744 Thu Dec 29 19:22:05 EST 2011 Carolyn Price Arlington, TX , US
1743 Thu Dec 29 19:18:23 EST 2011 Bryann Ybarra-Weckmann Willows, CA , US
1742 Thu Dec 29 19:13:20 EST 2011 S. Smith Sound Beach, NY , US
1741 Thu Dec 29 19:09:49 EST 2011 rebecca tippens Colrain, MA , US
1740 Thu Dec 29 18:10:53 EST 2011 M. Segura macDonald Madrid, ot , ES
1739 Thu Dec 29 18:06:24 EST 2011 Anonymous
1738 Thu Dec 29 17:53:28 EST 2011 Leland Brun Honeoye Falls, NY , US
1737 Thu Dec 29 17:40:55 EST 2011 Laetitia Amadei Lyon, ot , FR
1736 Thu Dec 29 17:36:53 EST 2011 Anonymous
1735 Thu Dec 29 17:36:51 EST 2011 Marie Fitzsimmons Florida, FL , US
1734 Thu Dec 29 17:30:51 EST 2011 Anonymous
1733 Thu Dec 29 16:35:20 EST 2011 Mark Mazhnyy Fresno, CA , US
1732 Thu Dec 29 16:35:18 EST 2011 Anonymous
1731 Thu Dec 29 16:32:58 EST 2011 Pamela Green kalamazoo, MI , US
1730 Thu Dec 29 16:29:59 EST 2011 D Merritt Woburn, MA , US
1729 Thu Dec 29 16:27:25 EST 2011 Anonymous
1728 Thu Dec 29 16:23:25 EST 2011 Raymond Smart New Port Richey, FL , US
1727 Thu Dec 29 16:22:37 EST 2011 Donna Shroyer Meeker, CO , US
1726 Thu Dec 29 16:04:16 EST 2011 Andrew Sutphin Westlake Village, CA , US
1725 Thu Dec 29 11:38:41 EST 2011 Anonymous
1724 Thu Dec 29 11:35:02 EST 2011 Irmgard Engeroff Rüsselsheim, ot , DE
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Please take action by December 31, 2011.

Sulfuric Acid Drainage photo courtesy of MPCA