Letter to the Editor: Response to Conrad

Nathan Conrad [“Advocacy Group in Favor of Back Forty Mine,” Nov. 22, 2019] has dismissed citizens’ concerns about the potential pollution of the proposed Back Forty sulfide mine as “anti-mining rhetoric rather than proven, 21st-century science and technology.” 

This is an incredible claim from the lobbyist who represents Aquila Resources, the Canadian mining company that owns the Back Forty project. If Mr. Conrad and Aquila were so confident about this technology, why did they work with Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) to repeal Wisconsin’s “Prove It First” Mining Moratorium Law in 2017?

The Mining Moratorium Law required that the applicant for a metallic sulfide mine permit demonstrate the safety of the project by showing one example of where a sulfide mine has been operated without contaminating local water supplies.

During the 20 years since the passage of Prove It First, the mining industry failed to provide a single example in which a sulfide mine has operated and closed without polluting the environment. That is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called sulfide mining the “most toxic industry in America.”

Mr. Conrad says he is willing to engage in a conversation about modern mining. I would like to invite Mr. Conrad to do just that in a public forum with me in Door County to discuss the social and environmental effects of locating a metallic sulfide mine 150 feet from the Menominee River. Will you accept this invitation, Mr. Conrad?

Al Gedicks

Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council

La Crosse, Wisconsin