Army Corps shirks responsibility

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to allow Kensington gold mine to dump millions of chemically treated mine tailings into a pristine lake is immoral. Hard-rock mining companies are among the world's worst polluters. Shame on the Army Corps of Engineers for whitewashing this contamination by reclassifying toxic mine waste as "fill material" instead of a pollutant under the Clean Water Act.

By allowing toxic discharges to fill freshwater lakes, the Army Corps threatens Alaska's fisheries and other public resources. This is the United States of America. There are alternative disposal options for mining companies that don't involve polluting our public waters. The Army Corps has a responsibility to respect Alaskans and Alaska's special places, not ruin them. Kudos to the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and others involved in challenging the Corps on this.

Patti Saunders


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