Pick safest alternative for Kensington mine

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2004

If the Kensington Mine is such a great idea for the people of Juneau, why has the Forest Service refused to allow a public meeting in Juneau allowing all our questions to be answered?

Things seem to be held up by environmentalist, but Coeur has held all necessary permits to utilize a dry tailings disposal facility since 1997. The company has also strongly supported dry tailings disposal in the past and claimed it is environmentally superior to dumping tailings in water. Yet they want to empty their waste in Slate Lake, which drains into Berners Bay. What they want is a subsidy from the people of Juneau. We give up our quality of life and put up another road block at the end of the road to boating, fishing, hiking, camping and the other things we do that make Juneau our home by choice.

They say that the 1997 permits are not cost-effective, but let's allow market forces to dictate when it's a good time to open the mine, not land giveaways and outdated waste disposal techniques that will destroy an ecosystem. With only 20 percent of the mine's work force drawn from Juneau, the loss in tourism opportunities for the area is another factor I question. I don't want the most economical, yet environmentally safe alternative; I want the safest, yet economical alternative. I live here. Alternative B is just that. It's an alternative. Do you know what the other alternatives are?

Ken Jacobs


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