The MyTurn article in Wednesday's Juneau Empire by Brian Holst, director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, not surprisingly champions the development and opening of the Kensington gold mine.
Holst runs through a number of his reasons why the mine should open, such as high paying jobs, Native hiring and a welcomed boost to Juneau's burgeoning budget. But in order to make his list, Holst, in his opening paragraph, had to dismiss a lot of Juneau residents along with their strong feelings that Kensington parent company, Coeur, should do their gold mine right the first time around.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is by name and virtue responsible for protecting our environment. This includes protecting all of our nation's waters so that any one of us can be assured of safe, clean water.
In my humble opinion, Holst either misses this fact entirely or is unduly influenced by some other factors.
Holst needs to realize that EPA wants Kensington to do it right the first time around by taking another hard look at mine waste storage options, other than dumping leftover waste into a clean, subalpine lake habitat, and then at some later date trying to filter out all the toxins before letting it freely flow into Juneau's pristine Berners Bay.
The environmentalists have an option on the table now and EPA simply wants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to recognize and deliberate on this reasonable option.
Alan R. Munro