Dump the rock, and the nonsense

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, October 06, 2005

Thanks to Murray Walsh who, in my opinion, hit a home run with his My Turn of Oct. 4.

The lawsuit brought against the Kensington Mine by those opposed to the dumping of crushed rock into Slate Lake is just another attempt to stop the mine, period. If all the rock that will come out of the mine were to be shot off into outer space, they still wouldn't be satisfied. If dumping the rock in the lake were to violate the Clean Water Act, I certainly would not want the rock dumped into the lake. But as far as I can see, the concerns have been met to the satisfaction of all the agencies involved in the permitting process.

I grew up, like many kids, in Juneau and Douglas, playing on the tailings of the AJ and Treadwell mines. These mines, along with others, dumped their crushed rock and sand on the beaches and into Gastineau Channel. This is back when we had no environmental laws. I'm fairly sure that there was some bad stuff that got into the water. But that was then, like Mr. Walsh pointed out. This is now. We have laws that have done very well in protecting the environment. The process is working. (By the way, we all grew up healthy).

So, I say to the Sierra Club and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council: The Kensington people are doing a conscientious job of building an environmentally friendly mine. Let's get on with it. Build the mine. Dump the rock in the lake, and stop this nonsense. The environment will survive just fine. And you know what? Our economy just might survive a little bit better too.

Rudy J. Ripley


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