Don't taint mining scrutiny

Posted: Sunday, June 01, 2003

The current ordinance in Juneau allows for mining development while also providing us with the opportunity to protect our wonderful community.

The Juneau Assembly is considering making extreme revisions to our current mining ordinance. Assemblyman Randy Wanamaker was chair of the committee that crafted these ordinance revisions. He has worked for years as a consultant for Coeur d'Alene Mining Company and is also a long-time member of the Goldbelt Corporation. Both of these corporations stand to make a lot of money if his amendments are passed by the Assembly. Although Assemblyman Wanamaker has stepped down due to his conflict of interest, he has tainted efforts to weaken Juneau's mining ordinance, because he is employed by those who will benefit from the proposed changes that he wrote.

American Heritage Dictionary: Taint: 1. To stain the honor of someone or something. 2. To make poisonous or rotten; infect or spoil.

Juneau needs to support responsible mining by staying involved in decisions that affect our air, water and land. The proposed changes to the present mining ordinance would have the City and Borough of Juneau giving away our right to study the socio-economic impacts that mining corporations have on our community. The changes would also mean the city would not participate in setting insurance bonds for mining corporations. These bonds protect our waters by paying for the clean up from acid drainage and heavy metals from the mines, should a company go bankrupt. Coeur d'Alene was in the newspapers 10 months ago when they almost went bankrupt. We need to protect our community.

The current mining ordinance allows for mining while also allowing us the ability to protect our community. The old Kensington Mine Plan was certified under the current mining ordinance. Let's keep our present mining ordinance the way it is and not taint it.

Joyce Levine


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