Sierra Club Praises Decision to Block Sulfide Mine, Protect Boundary Waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 15, 2016

Contact: Margaret Levin, Margaret.levin@sierraclub.org

Minneapolis, MN—The Obama administration today denied renewal of two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, halting plans for sulfide mines that could pollute the waters of America’s most popular wilderness area following extensive public input.  Sulfide mining has never been done in Minnesota, and would pollute rivers and groundwater for hundreds of years.

The administration also announced it is beginning a process to consider withdrawing federal mineral rights from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area watershed long term.

In response, Margaret Levin, State Director of Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter issued the following statement:

“The Obama administration has rightly recognized that toxic sulfide ore mining poses grave risks for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, America’s most-visited national wilderness.  Today’s decision brings a welcome reprieve for the Boundary Waters’ 1,000 pristine lakes and streams, and validates the voices of thousands who have asked that its waters be protected from this threat.

“The tremendous public opposition to these mines demonstrates the incredible connection that Minnesotans and people from all over the country feel with this place and the deep-rooted desire to see it protected, not just today but into the future. We applaud this significant step forward and will continue to fight for permanent protection of the Boundary Waters.”

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