Standing by original statement

Posted: Sunday, August 06, 2006

In attacking my recent letter to the editor supporting the Kensington Mine, Mark Rorick of the Juneau Sierra Club made sly use of a selective quote. In particular, he used the familiar, and by-now, tired tactic of taking a statement out of context and using it to endorse his view of the mine.

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Specifically, his letter pointed to a statement in the Corps of Engineers Record of Decision. Rorick claims that the corps says "the tailings water will be toxic" because of a high pH level.

Rorick, however, didn't bother to include the qualifier that this is only in the area immediately around the discharge pipe. He also omitted the sentence that immediately follows: "This will dissipate very rapidly."

He also didn't bother to include the following statements from the corporations: "The water in the impoundment will not be directly discharged into any receiving water. The water from the tailings storage facility will be pumped by pipeline to a water treatment facility before discharge to the East Fork of Slate Creek. To ensure water quality standards for the project are met, all water from the impoundment will have to go to and through a water treatment plant during operation. The discharge from the water treatment plant is subject to an NPDES (national pollutant discharge elimination system) permit."

He also did not include any of the multiple statements in the Record of Decision that mirror the following: "The Corps concludes that the proposed discharge of tailings into Lower Slate Lake would not constitute a significant adverse environmental consequence."

So, Mr. Rorick, I stand by my original statement: The water will be clean and I will see you on the fishing grounds.

Merrill Sanford


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