December 15, 2017
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Comments for: Mining Bald Mountain for precious metals not worth the environmental risk, Portland speaker says

PORTLAND, Maine — A Canadian environmentalist and mining expert said Thursday there’s almost no way Bald Mountain can be mined without polluting nearby water, potentially for thousands of years. Ramsey Hart of MiningWatch Canada was tapped as the keynote speaker for the Natural Resources Council of… Read More
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  • Anonymous

    NO to new jobs in Maine. We only allow trees to be cut and development for wind mills.

    • Grampy

      These jobs would be 100% insourced

      Modern metal mining is by highly trained, high tech crews who travel site to site, globally.

      • Anonymous

        During exploration leading to this deposit, many locals were employed. Some even left the area for a time, traveling with the companies to different sites across the country, after operations were halted here.

        • That is no longer the profile for modern metal mining.

          Don’t take my word for it..research it yourself.

          It is an objective fact.

          Also please check out the legislative tracking pages at Maine Forest Products . Reaxing restrictions on use of foreign workers is a major initative. Whatever few unskilled jobs might be available, JD Irving will want to use its own Canadian workers for.

          In-sourcing is a major strategy for the Corporatocracy in general and for Maine Forest Products in particular. High on their agenda this year is a bill that would allow more use of foreign workers in Maine.

          When you hear JD Irving or Maine Forest Products talk about “new Maine jobs”..wise folk would investigate who actually will be getting these jobs in Maine.

          • Anonymous

            You underestimate our work force. I am well aware of mining practices. Minerals are not removed from the earth by a highly trained computer scientist sitting at a desk.
             Your objective fact holds no water.
             Also, why do you think that JD Irving is a mining co? Are you aware of the mineral rights held by many different companies in many parts of Maine, including Bald Mountain?

          •  We are talking specifically and only metal mining here.not minerals in general.

          • Anonymous

            OK, metals are not removed  from the earth by a highly trained computer scientist sitting at a desk. Sheesh, what happened to intelligent responces?

          •  The technology that even makes it remotely worthwhile to try and separate such spare deposits of gold from masses of rock is very very very high tech ..allows targeting more precisely where the highest concentrations are.

            what gold mines have you worked at in the last 5 years?

          • Anonymous

            Hmm, a bit snarky.  Do you even know what sort of deposit exists at Bald Mountain? Have you seen any form of mining plan? If you wish to protest, perhaps facts and truth are in order.

          •  Actually, yes.  In the context of the stunning way in which the mining bill emerged, and the many factual misrepresentations in that I did research the history of Bald Mountain, the state wide surveys and report on metal deposits and what was avaulable on prior metal mining in Maine which, as you may know includes the huge mess of a silver mine near by in Blue Hill ( I live on Deer Isle).

             I also researched legislative and regulatory trends in metal mining mining ( most since the congressional report included above have been doing separate regulations on metals and tightening not loosening them), market analysis reports on gold and other metals found in Maine, like Berylium, mining practices and emerging technologies.

            This is standard practice for me on every issue.  To be informed.  To do my homework.

            As you know, if you were involved directly in any way in the most recent  metal assessments at Bald Mountain  when folk believed it might contain a very significant deposit of copper, the deposits were found to be very thin..too much rock to deal with for two little copper.

            Same story with gold only worse because of the way gold is co mingled in the specific type of rock at bald mountain and the likely co-entanglement with mercury and very very high risks  of mercury in the atmosphere.  Again, no way to control or manage effectively ( This I know as Risk Manager for New York City’s water & sewer authroity which included the establishing a project specific insurance and risk management  program for the City’s $3.2 billion water tunnel.  I am a noted national expert on Construction Risk Management) 

            What that means at Bald Mountain is as I stated at the outset..there is no safe extraction method at Bald Mountain.

            The Open pit method for any metals at Bald Mountain, would require removal of massive amounts of rock containing tiny tiny traces of gold and then the use of cyanide to try and release those trace amounts of gold from all that rock and then still further processing.  Also the sulphite co mingled with the gold & rock at Bald mountain immediately becomes sulphuric acid when exposed to oxygen and waterd and there is no way to control or contain that while the broken rock is being moved to its plastic lined pit.

            Cyanide should be forbidden as an extraction method in watershed areas.  Many countries have banned the use of cyanide for extraction.

            In Situ leaching, an emerging technology,is also a possibility for Bald Mountain and very scary for the specific profile of rock and metals there.  There they use fracking technology to inject chemicals, mostly cyanide, directly into the rock and then force the gold out using methods similar to what are used to recapture injected materials from natural gas fracking. .

            Fracking using any injection material at all that is incompatible with safe potable water should be disallowed period in watershed areas.

            So tell us, at the gold mines you have worked at in the last 10 years, or know about  through your own resarch, what methods have been used for extraction and what is the status of these sites now?

  • Anonymous

    I like how the meeting is in Portland when they are talking about an issue in northern Maine. Must be a fundraiser.

    •  I believe they will be traveling all over the state with this town hall type discussion on the realities of metal mining.

      Also important to note that all Mainers are stakeholders here..this isn’t just about Bald Mountain. The irresponsible ill informed initiative to de regulate metal mining affects the entire state.

      • Rick Cole

        Well Ms. Bowker next time Portland area has a state  issue lets hold the meeting in FT. Kent

        •  Again, Rick, I believe there will be similar sessions in other places.

          They have limited resources and are a non  profit.

          If you have a group up in Fort Kent that would host it  contact NRCM or better yet build your own panel of inquiry and invite your own experts.

  • Anonymous

    I called the MaineTurn Pike when they talked about the New Toll location’s. And asked about having a meeting in Northern Maine. The guy on the phone stated why would we do that? Well I said we do have cars up here and can drive South when we need to. Well it cost me a toll call and there was no meeting. We should and would be better off to cut this state in two and become Number 51. But we could’nt do it I’m sure with out the help from all those southen folks that think we can’nt take care of our self’s. Think about it !

  • Anonymous

     Portland thinks we need a national park in northern Maine too. I would like to see Portland worry a little more about Portland then the rest of the state.

    • Anonymous

      they seem to have this mentality that we don’t know what is good for us. i’d like to see some of those southern mainers try to make a living up here

      • Anonymous

        I’ve seen some try, it’s fun to watch :)

      • Anonymous

        I’m from Portland and can’t agree with you more. There is a very small percentage of the population in the Southern half of the State that can hold their own in the north woods. That percentage is even smaller within Portland. 

    • Anonymous

      I’d like to see a national park…in Portland

      • Anonymous

        someone should check the state archives to see if Massachusetts didn’t retain Cumberland and York counties back in 1820. it would explain alot and make our lives a lot easier

        • Anonymous

          In 1820 the good people of the area of northern Massachusetts called “The Maine” decided that they were not satisfied with the southern part of the state’s decisions for The Maine, and formed their own state.
           
           It’s time to do that again with the line running from just north of Camden in a semicircle to the town of Sanford.

           ALL HAIL the new state of North Maine.

  • Anonymous

    Typical. People in So. Maine invite an outsider to tell the people of No. Me. whats good for them

    • Chuckie..all Mainers are stakeholders in this irresponsible and ill advised legislative initiative.

      And on all matters, Mainers would be wise to try and understand what other states and nations are doing and deciding and why.

      That is especially true of metal mining.

      There is a consensus amongst all experts that metal mining and watersheds don’t mix and that the end result is huge public costs in permanently damaged water sheds and monstrous never ending clean up all for the sake of quick profits for a few profiteers.

      Here is what recent Congressional hearings had to say about metal  mining:

      “Mining is the Nation’s Leading Source of Toxic Pollution

      “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), metal mining as a whole is the leading source of toxic pollution in the United States – a distinction the industry has
      held for eight consecutive years (1998-2005), ever since mining was added to the TRI list.

      The EPA has also reported that more than 40 percent of Western watersheds have mining contamination in their headwaters. The total cost of cleaning up metal mining
      sites throughout the West is an estimated $32 billion or more.”

      http://www.ewg.org/report/congressional-testimony-mining-reform

      At the federal level and in all other states metal mining reform is going in the complete opposite direction from what Irving and Maine Forest Products have convinced our legislators is the wise path.

      Why do you think they are here? Because we are a banana republic and allow ourselves to be. Everyone else is tightening up on metal mining.

      Where else can industry lobbyists walk in with such a load of rubbish and win legislative support that flies in the face of science, experience, experts the world over?

      • Anonymous

         I think you should try and live without using ANY metal.

        Go back to living in a mud hut.

        • Anonymous

          You try living without water…

        • Oh..let me understand..you are saying that the gold from Bald Mountain will lower the costs and improve our access to all the metals we have in our daily lives?  our cars, lawn mowers, tractors, barbecue grills?

          And as with oil, which permeates our lives in all the plastic products we use ( and wear..e.g polartec) ..if the public costs of extraction are too high..should we be re thinking how we want to manufacture products..isn’t that what is going on with the bridge project  based on composite sections at U Maine?

            A friend of mine in UK developed and just sold to a huge multi national a composite system using recycled glass that is now required by lloyds on all ne ships, cruise and otherwise, in fire hazard areas.   These are just two examples of living beyond metal in ways are thriveable not just sustainable.

          Our dependence on these materials..plastics, petroleum and its by products, metals ( our love affair with aluminum) is manufactured to create  a market for what these profiteers ownresource monopolies in.

          Live beyond plastic
          live beyond petroleum
          live beyond metal.

          If Maine Forest Products were really about sustainable industry and jobs in Maone based on our vast natural resources, they wouldn’t be putting forward a metal mining bill side by side with a bill to allow more  foreign workers in Maine..they would be working with us..with you and the folk in your community to position Maine well in the growing uses of cellulose to replace petroleum.  Why are the Chinese producing so much rayon, made entirely from wood cellulose, when Maine has the right wood , the know how in wood harvesting and the know how in textiles to be a top producer.?

          • Anonymous

            Off topic, but I’m curious, do you support the fur industry?

          • I’m curious too..what does a lynx pelt bring these days? What will someone pay for a maine guide to take him where he can shoot a lynx?

          • Anonymous

            Why the dodge? Are you that mis informed on the status of lynx in Maine?  What do Maine guides or lynx have to do with a simple question?

          •  you asked if I supported the fur industry..

          • Anonymous

            Several good points but you have a misconception about “oil” and materials derived from it.  They aren’t just “byproducts”.  Plastics and polymers are made from petrochemicals (and “natural” chemicals) that bear no resemblance to their starting materials.  Some of the highest volume polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene) are made from natural gas.  There’s active research, and has been for some time, on making polymers from chemicals derived from plants materials but it’s a tough road and increased costs are an impediment.

          • Sounds like this is a sector you know well so I hope you will be involved here in miane, not just at these blogs, in exploring how Maine can position itself to good advantage in the emerging global market for wood derived product.  Do you know anything about Chinas rayon for example? Or the quebec paper mill that just conversted to making rayon fiber http://specialtycellulose.com/from-wood-to-wearable-how-rayon-is-made.htm. Beacuse of china there is huge demand for cellulose http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Business/FMC-expands-cellulose-production-amid-growing-demand. I would like to see Maine adding value to its forest product by meeting this demand.

            I am just starting research on which wood products  could add very high value here in Maine and for which are unique woods give us a natural advantage.  Isn’t Sappi doing some work in this area?

            I love the idea of utlizing Maine’s iherent long standing talent  both wood product and in texitiles.  I love the idea of returning our woodland to commercial rather than predominantly speculative ownership by restoring demand for our own wood in our own Maine industries.

      • Anonymous

        That is not my point. Why doesnt the nature conservancy head to where the problem might be. Ie Presque Isle Caribou etc.

        •  Chuckie,

          The folk in Dover Foxcroft and Dexter didn’t wait for MDOT or Vigue to create round tables for themselves.  They built their own grass roots  effort to investigate, resrach document and share documentation.

          That option is open everywhere to evry community and the proof of the pudding is that the E/W highway, after a grass roots investigation by a coalition of 400 Mainers..conservatives and progressives all at the sametable, they shut it down and exposed it forthe fraud it was and is.

          No community had to wait for information to come to them.  It does help though to have  a large group working on pulling it together and sharing it.

          I hope those with the biggest stake in the watershed will do that on this issue.  And if you do..count me in..I’ll help..I’ll support that effort

          • Anonymous

            We should all stay home and have picnics with tofu gluten free sandwiches hugging the nearest maple.  Evil rich people should pay for everything, my house, my smart car, my wind mill, my granola, etc.  Nobody should work.  If work is necessary we should pay engineers the same as ditch diggers because we should embrace communism. 

          •  Don’t really see how your comment relates to citizens taking the initiative to investigate and make their own decisions about important issues affecting their lives, their opportunities, their community.

            Since when is citizen activism “pinko commie”????

          • Anonymous

            Since you endorse it???

          •  Oh Yowsa.. I am so wounded.  I thought despite our very big differences in views we still regarded one another with respect.

  • Anonymous

    So, a Canadian is speaking in Portland about a jobs project in Aroostook County?

    • Anonymous

      typical North Massachusetts, want to run the whole show and do whats best for their private little playground that they like to visit but would never live here because it’s too remote

      • Anonymous

        Build a Starbucks in Van Buren and they will come

  • “Canadian environmental and mining expert”?  Isn’t he actually an anti-mining expert? If he is even that.  Amazingly enough, the MiningWatch Canada website does not list any actual academic or business qualifications that would allow us to determine whether he is an expert.  I wonder why??

    • Anonymous

      He is in fact an anti-mining activist, not a “mining expert”.   MPBN’s promotion of the dire warning described him this way: “Hart is an ecologist with a background in watershed management who has evaluated mining proposals and operations across Canada. He also works on policy and legal reform around the world.”  So he’s an international viro agitator pursuing the anti-industrial revolution.  What else do you expect from NRCM in a Portland campaign against the northern Maine economy? Of course the PR spin tells us he is a “mining expert”, just like they claim their campaign to impose Federal wilderness with a National Park Service takeover of millions of acres of private property is “for the economy”.

      • David Gregg

        Yeah, just like NPR/MPBN’s are MY tax dollars going toward LEFT-leaning topics, questions and answers. Everyone wants a piece of Maine but they all could careless about the PEOPLE who have been living up here for 400-500 hundred years…about 4000-5000 yrs. for our Native friends. WE DON’T NEED YOUR IDEAS! Where was everyone when the county needed I95 to finish its last 100 miles, so we could have what the “rest” of the state had? Now every other Canadian company wants to EXPLOIT us. They are having great growth in their economy and it’s starting to become apparent they’re pushing and wiggling for elbow room in our environment.

      • Anonymous

        No, he’s not one of your imaginary demons, he’s an intelligent and well-educated scientist who understands that once you kill a watershed with sulfuric acid runoff, you can NEVER get it back.

        Now go ahead and start calling me names again, because I know you won’t have anything intelligent to offer.

        • Anonymous

          Ok!

          Here goes, dingbat!

        • Anonymous

          The NRCM speaker is a well known political activist, not a “scientist”.  Environmentalism is an ideological political movement, not “science”. No one is “killing a watershed”.  “Earthling” is a preservationist envirochondriac who wants to control everything and everyone around him. 

  • Anonymous

    Mining operators and their lawyers vs. state regulators. My money is is on the mining lawyers, every time. Good luck to mining supporters who live nearby when problems develop!

  • Anonymous

    The Fish River chain of lakes includes a water resource that is far more rare and precious than brook trout and an absence of smallmouth bass.  The Fish River chain includes the Deboullie Lakes Reserve, home to 4 of the last 12 populations of blueback trout (Arctic charr) in Maine.  That species is repeatedly on the verge of being petitioned for federal ESA listing is already on the state’s threatened species list.  No way would permits ever be given to mine anywhere near the waterways containing those fish.

    • Anonymous

      the Endangered Species Act is an unconstitutional, job killing, piece of garbage

      • Anonymous

        You are a fool if you believe that. Educate yourself about the value of species diversity.

        • Anonymous

           Viros believe anyone who doesn’t share their faith in their nature religion is a “fool”. They think this justifies using tyrannical power like ESA to control and suppress people.

    • Anonymous

      Um, check how these drainages flow, there is no way mining at bald mountain is going to drain into Deboullie, now Carr pond would be a concern for sure. IF done properly the mining could be done without a detrimental impact on my favorite chain of lakes. I have a camp on one of these lakes and do the better part of my recreation on those lakes, it doesn’t bother me to have them mine it, provided it’s done correctly.

      Where do people think all of the metals come from to make things like the computer they are using to read this?  The enviromentalists don’t just speak these things into existence by magic, they have to be mined out of the earth. Metal prices are high and getting higher because even with all of the recycling, the world need new ore. Places like Bald mountain have it.

      And I agree with caprountree, the ESA is garbage, the same ones that list Canadian Lynx as endangered in Maine PFFFT!  The fact is we are on the extreme southern end of the lynx range, there are plenty of lynx in the world, especially in Canada. Heck, you can go to Deboullie and catch Blueback trout, there is an open season on them, so I guess they can’t be to endangered at this point.

      • “IF done properly the mining could be done without a detrimental impact on my favorite chain of lakes.”

        It can’t be done with no impact. The bill that was passed allows run-off pond in the flood plain. The first high-water year all the mining run-off – full of heavy metals such as s copper and arsenic – will be in the rivers.

        • Homer, you’re 1/2 way there. It’s not just the run-off pond that needs to be factored in. It’s also the mining debris that needs to be dealt with. The mining of coal in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, not to mention Montana and Wyoming, and their associated debris mound’s, need to be seen as a VERY serious warning sign as to just what is coming. Add to that the ore processing, and the chemical’s that are used, is also something that needs to be addressed before ANY digging begins. These are the other factor’s that need to be addressed in reality, not just on some talking point’s paper that’s read to the legislator’s in Augusta.

      • Anonymous

        You should do a little research on how water moves underground.

      • Northernmaine,

         Perhaps you’d care to share with us how to do this properly to protect your favorite chain of lakes,,or perhaps anyone elses.

        That would be a very big contribution to modern metal mining practices because no one else so far really has a way of doing that.

        You sound like Angus King..fracking and tar sands are fine “as long a sthey are done safely

        One up Angus and actually tell us how to do it properly:..what exactly is the technology and the procedure?  Who is using that?  Where has that been demonstrated?

    • Anonymous

      in reality,this area is not near the mining site, but 15-20 miles upstream.

  • Anonymous

    Someone should open a ski resort there . . . for minah’s that is. 

  • Anonymous

    As stated I am County born and had to leave due the economy of the County so I know first hand of the need of employment opportunities in the County. That being said I have great concerns of mining development at Bald Mountain.

    This area is located at the headwaters of two major waterways. The Fish Lake chain and the Machias River which empties into the Aroostook River. Any pollution that would enter into these chains would affect the majority of the communities in the County.

    This type of mining has a terrible record in Maine and the nation when it comes to damage to the environment. One only has to look at the Callahan mines in the Blue Hill area. They provided short term gains to the local communities and the state with massive profits to the company while leaving behind a major enivironmental clean up financed by us the tax payers.

    Irving is estimating 700 jobs with a 600 million per year payroll and 120 million in local and state taxes. 700 jobs at the mine? Highly doubtful so they have included the jobs at Wally world and McDs.
    600 miilion in payroll at the mine ? Doubtful so they have included those high wages paid by Wally world and Mc Ds. 120 million in taxes ? Probably not paid by the mining operation.

    Oh yeah let’s factor in the fact that the Irving Corp is not all that fond of hiring local residents. They have a real preference for Canadien and immigrant labor. Net gain in County employment ? Wally world and McDs ?

    Am I against development and / or mining ? No ! But I am against just letting go — we have spent to much and stand to lose to much to just allow willy nilly development.

      

    • Anonymous

      700 jobs with a $600 million payroll – that’s an average salary of well over $850,000 for these jobs. If that’s not a load of crap I don’t know what is.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing like a copper mine to create jobs. Mining,cleanup, cleanup, cleanup. Your great grandkids wont have to leave the area to find work.

    • Anonymous

      jobs are pretty scarce in Aroostook County, and kids leaving the area to find work is a big issue especially in the smaller towns. check the weekend BDN , there is almost always a business from Northern Maine going on the auction block lately

  • Anonymous

    The mining expert from Russia and Iran was busy telling other countries that mineing their resources would make the Sun fly into the Earth.  I mean that’s really tru..e.   The Friendly, Canadan, that,  does the same thing up there…. Trust ’em. He has your best intrest at heat in,… Ottawa.  Couldn’t they find an X -Maineac or Newhampsurian to make the call ????

  • Anonymous

    The yellow hard hat.   OK  there’s his credentials:  He found a store that sold hard hats.

    • Anonymous

      He musta gut it at mahdins

  • A Canadian environmentalist and mining expert…. Sounds like he is trying to protect Canadian mining interests to me.

    • Christopher Ruhlin

      It sounds like he is trying to protect my water, but then again I read the article and not the first sentence.

    •  Many of us have been researching, writing about, learning about this issue for many many months..since that first “private audience” JD irving and its lawyers snagged with the joint committee with no opportunity for public participation.

      We are all still learning, still researching, still trying to understand what this bill really means for Maine and about Maine.

      What have you to offer us in that regard?

      What has your research shown about  metal mining in watershed areas?  Metal mining any where?

      What does your research say about the wisdom of deregulating metal mining when everyone else is going in just the opposite direction?

      And, of course, I am sure you know JD Irving is a Canadian company who have vast land holdings in Miane of which the Bald Mountain area is just a tiny tiny part…

  • Anonymous

    Only when the last tree has been cut, the last fish has been poisoned, and the last River has been polluted will we realize we cannot eat money…. Time to wake up.

    • Anonymous

       Ok What do you use for currency when you go buy groceries? Twigs & stones?

      • Anonymous

        WEED.

  • Anonymous

    If environmentalist had there way there would be no dams no  motor boats no hunting  no fishing  no atvs no snowmobiles an no gas or diesel  power of any kind an there would be a lot of other things that they would do away with to

    • Anonymous

      We would all have to live in caves, starving and freezing to death in the dark, except for the elite enviromentalist like Al Gore that fly around in their private jets. People like him are better than the rest of us and not subject to the rules.

      • Anonymous

        The level of ignorance in these comments is a sad statement about the education system in this country.

        • Anonymous

           Education is not environmentalist indoctrination.  Educated people don’t worship and make excuses for the likes of Gore.

      • Christopher Ruhlin

        Yeah and those science people going around telling people stupid things like facts.  Awe man I miss those good old days when rivers in this country would fuel a lantern… 

  • Anonymous

    The same people had canadians come tell us to tear out our hydro power to protect our fish.We now have pay them for their hydro power and pay to fish there .Showed them didnt we!!

  • If Saviello and Irving are so sure that there’s going to be no damage done then let’em put up a CASH BOND to provide for the “financial assurance’s” that are supposedly in the proposed bill to make sure that there is sufficient funding to clean up after themselves. Nothing says, or keep’s one’s focus, ‘serious’ like having one’s CASH on the line to back up one’s claim’s of intent. This Bald Mountain project has been going on the better part of the last year, especially in Augusta where Eagle Lake Martin has been pushing Irving’s agenda with more than a little conflict of interest at issue at stake that both reader’s and the BDN have reported on. And the job’s issue is another issue that needs clearing up. Irving has a record of being almost fanatical in hiring or bringing in Canadian’s or other immigrant labor for their Maine job’s using the tightly written job skill’s required as a way to keep Mainer’s from qualifying for these local job’s. Troy Jackson is a legislator, while not mentioned here, that needs listening to when it comes to outside Maine labor being literally carted in for job’s that can be done by Mainer’s, but are prevented from doing so simply because these same Companies don’t want to pay locally prevailing rate’s. 

    And no where in any of this has the means of transporting the gold ore been mentioned. Rail or truck, ore has to be moved to a local smelter for processing. Rail Maine has, and can do with more since the MMA line’s north of Brownville are on a Irving-lease already at 80% + anyway. But still the means of moving the ore hasn’t been mentioned. Gee, I wonder why and how ? Can we all say East-West Highway ? Some of us might have been recently born. But we weren’t born yesterday and we do know how to read a map. This is where Maine’s DOT Planning people should be stepping in and asking these same question’s. My question is why haven’t they ?

  • Saviello and the entire Maine legislature better be listening to mining experts and doing a little homework. This is a trojan horse brought to you by the folks at Maine Forest Products whose aim is profiteering not jobs and economic development for Maine’s communities.

    Metal Mining is not safe and cannot be made safe in watershed areas.  It is simply incompatible with sound watershed management.  Period.

    Here is an excellent resource with some facts and history on that:

    http://www.sosbluewaters.org/
    And here is another..Federal findings and actions to further limit, not de regulate metal mining:

    http://www.ewg.org/report/congressional-testimony-mining-reform

    And here is another specifically blowing the myth that modern mining practices are safe:

    http://www.earthworksaction.org/files/publications/ModernMiningFINAL.pdf

    (edit: this link is revised & acurate..earthworks changed its system or something )

    Every member of the joint Committee had all this data..all these facts when they went ahead with this JD Irving Maine Forest Products agenda. They just chose to ignore it.

    JD Irving and its lawyers, who were allowed to have a virtually private audience with the joint committee to present its very flawed position and factually inaccurate position on “updating” Maine’s mining regs ,simply lied.

    The only thing that has changed about metal mining is the technology that allows better pinpointing of extraction areas so that extraction is possibly profitable in areas where it wasn’t before. 

    All other states are tightening not loosening their metal mining laws.

    Saviello is also whistling in the wind on jobs.  Modern mining jobs are highly skilled and highly specialized.  They travel in crews all over the world,  These will be 100% INSOURCED jobs for all metal mining anywhere.

    What really bothers me is that Tom Saviello and every legislator who allowed this and who supported this bill didn’t do their homework.  It takes only a few minutes on line to figure out that everything Irvings lawyers and lobbyists presented is wrong.

    Personally, I don’t believe JD Irving as any intent of actually mining Bald Mountain.  Through this legislation/regulatory change they are adding value to a sale of Bald Mountain at a much higher price than it would otherwise command.

    Both dems and republicans guilty on this one.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, that is the way politics works these days. The legislators listen to whoever has the most money, and tailor reports to show things in the most unrealistically favorable light possible. This is just one more money-grab being shoved down the public throat, and people are both desperate enougjh and ignorant enough to buy into it. Until our education system starts teaching people to think critically, things will continue to get worse.

      •  Earthling,

        Hello..nice to meet you and to have your thoughts on this in this blog community.

        I agree that the best weapon against the plutonomy, the copoarte profiteers  who have infiltrated the culture of our legislature is independent thinking but I don’t believe we have to rely on being taught that in school ( would be nice though).

         I believe every single person  is capable of that ..that if everyone here at this blog could sit down at a table together and work this through strating with what Maine needs, what serves Maine’s communities, what kind of jobs we want in Maine’s communities what thetruth is about mining..not one group telling the other but all of us collaborating to discern that, that we would find a common wisdom to which everyone’s thinking has contributed.

        Each of us is equally capable of independently thinking through any issue.

        Thank you for your great post. The way out is through clear independent thinking and investigation..by every single one of us.  If we are doing that we will have a very different culture in the legislature.

      • Anonymous

         The big money full of spin for decades has been the viro lobby in its campaign to destroy private property rights and the economy for radical preservationism.  “Thinking critically” does not mean ‘Do what Viro says’.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. If anyone thinks that these are going to be “Maine” jobs, they should take a real honest look at themselves. it’s not going to happen. when the mountain is gone, everything downstream will still be polluted.  Money talks, crap walks. Both R’s and D’s are guilty of that one.

    • Anonymous

      Those links are not “data”, they are radical viro activist promotions.  Viros have been trying to shut down mining everywhere for decades.

      •  wow..”radical viro activist promotions”..so anyone raising very legitimate issues about the unacepptably high total public costs of metal mining, especially and exactly under the conditions present at Bald Mountain is a “radical acitivist”..

        The industry itself gets it it.  There are leaders in the industry that we are way pask “post peak gold” that the recovery of whats left by methods that have been used..open pit/cyanide leaching, will close mining down all together all over the world ( last of course in the banana republic “of  Maine.  They know that Green Peace & Oxfam are speaking truth..they see whole nations acting to ban cyandide and they are scrambling to find a way to to do “safe cyanide leaching”   ( there’s no such thing of course).  Here is one example of an inside the industry effort to deal with their cyanide problem:

        http://www.anglogoldashanti.com/subwebs/InformationForInvestors/ReportToSociety05/values_bus_principles/environment/e_cs_usa_5_10.htm

        We are in a whole new era of gold mining.  In the same way we are in a  whole new era of oil.  These non renewable deposits in the earth are way past that time when they are plentiful, cheap and easy to recover. It takes more and more costly, more and more risky, methods to extract it and the market says what that break even cost is.  

        It is reality that there are no practical safe methods of extracting gold where a few ounces are bound in tons and tons of rock  that has to be leached with dangerous and extremely toxic chemicals.

        It’s an economic problem.

        The wise nations and governments in the world are saying in law that when gold deposits are that thin the public risks and costs of retrieval are too great under any known technology and you may not retrieve it using those technologies.

        That’s what we should be saying here in Maine.

        That is wise policy.

        We should be working on banning the use of cyanide for metal extraction of any kind..

        The gold sitting in Bald Mountain has to sit there much much longer until the technology exists to safely extract it.  That technology does not presently exist.

        Put a few drops of cyanide in everything you drink and eat for the next week  or so and then tell us whether you think the risk of having this in our drinking water or on the earth is worth it

        It can’t be cleaned up or taken back once its there. There is no amount of money  that can be posted in cash or letter of credit that could clean up the damage.

        Spray a little mercury around your dogs dish or your baby’s crib for a month and watch what happens to them  ( mercury releases are a co-hazard of open pit  metal mining) ..  Spray your veggies with a mist sulphuric acid and see if you like the result.

        I look forward to your report.

        • Anonymous

          Mining is not an “economic problem” providing grounds for banning it.  The fanatical viros are a political problem, obstructing everything in sight with their ‘the sky is falling we are all being poisoned safe industrial technology is impossible ban industry’ hysteria.  The rhetoric and the hysterical fear-mongering aren’t new, dating back to the beginning of the “ecology movement” 150 years ago.  The progressively increasing imposition of bans on human values based on it is becoming worse, wrecking the economy and our personal well-being, and threatens much worse if it is not stopped.

          • not seeing any fruitful areas for collaboration in this reply so signing off with you.

            this is pure ideology ..Koch Brothers 101

            Tea Party 101

          • Anonymous

            Another panicked viro looking for converts to his hysterical anti-industry cause in the name of “collaboration”.  Those who resist are demeaned in the usual fashion of “Koch brothers” slogans that only further reveals his “progressive” dictatorial social control politics employed to ram his religion down our throats.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with him.  Pick one or the other, jobs or the enviroment. 

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t really expecting the Natural Resources Council of Maine to have a speaker that was for minning .

  • Anonymous

    Gotta love those Canadians, always telling us Mainers what we can or can not do!

    • Anonymous

      Radical Canadian viros (like David Suzuki) tell everyone anywhere what they can’t do.  It’s not limited to Maine.

  • Anonymous

    Who decides what is reasonable or unreasonable effect of comericial mining…

    There are plenty people around who would sell their elderly parents for money.. and you know who you are.

  • Anonymous

    I stopped caring what this guy said after reading “Canadian environmentalist.”

  • T P

         I own property on Portaage Lake because I thought it would be the last place your illustrious environmentally destructive Legislators; such as, John Martin would contaminate.  The actions of the Maine Legislature has placed the environment and human health in jeapordy.   Certain government agencies collect a pay check not for protecting the environment, but for mitigating the consequences of the disastrous environmental policies set forth by the legislature.   Toxic sludge, incinerator ash, toxic heavy metal laden lime from papermills are also some of the toxins that Maine Natural Resource Committee think are good for you!
         When the students at Benton Elementary School were made ill by a sludge spreading operation we saw the true face of Maine Government.  The bottom line is all that is important. The government catch phrase is “best practices.”  I had been bringing the Natural Resource Committee peer reviewed research proving the detrimental effects to no avail.  This is when I stated that I felt the Committee didn’t read the reports, or maybe didn’t understand the research, but that I truly felt as if “the y were just plain bought.” 
         For those of us that are prior military and have seen the results of these more advanced mining practices, we the taxpayer will be left with the cost of mitigating the toxic result.  Everyone needs a job, but to contaminate the Fish Lake Region and then hold the taxpayers accountable for the cleanup bill like so many toxic sites in Maine is just plain wrong.  Our children had to leave Maine for work! Many ha1ve had to find work elsewhere.  Just because you want to live in the County does not mean that we the taxpayers should foot the bill or carry the burden for the known consequences. 
         By the time all is said and done Bald Mountain won’t be the only mountain they go after…and before you know Maine will look like West Virginia and many will complain once their water is contaminated or worse are ill.  
         There should be a list of all involved in this mining fiasco so that when the damage is done we the taxpayers can hold them accountable; including those employed by the mining.  No longer should we as Maine taxpayers foot the cleanup bill or allow the land to be sold so that the contaminator gets a free pass. 
          We all want jobs, but when you are going to blow up the environment and ultimately destroy what others are paying property taxes on; well, that is just unconsciounable 

  • Anonymous

    mine the mountain then run for senate.Portland will love you then.

  • Anonymous

    Say no to jobs.More EBT and welfare please.The extremists that can not let the environment and jobs coexist in Maine are holding the rest of us that want to work hostage.The whacko’s that laid in front of the kings bulldozers now praise him.Work and the environment can both survive.I think the whacko’s are just afraid they might have to go to work.

  • Anonymous

    “Your side lies, mine doesn’t”.  You can apply that statement to either side.

  • T P

      After more than 20 years working to protect people from toxic exposure the “best practice” government catch phrase wins out once again.  The old argument that northern Maine needs jobs takes on a different meaning when the consequences will effect us all.  It is well known1 that when people are concerned about employment; the environment is the last thing they care about.  It is not the peak of a mountain for a wind mill, but a full blown removal of 500acres of Bald Mountain. Take pictures for posterity now!

    The facts are there.  How long will it take for the waters in the Fish Lake Region to be ruined?  There are many examples on the lasting effects of mining and the taxpayers footing the clean up bill.  How much in taxes are the hard working people supposed to keep dishing out?  How many times do the people say no and in the end were right to say so with the results having cost them in their work through the form of higher taxes.  Most of the time it is through property taxes as the location of the contamination is the responsibility of the town it is in. 

    We bought on Portage Lake because of its unprecedented wetlands, and the focus of business in the area.  A sensible stewardship really won us over.  When you are being made ill by a sludge spreading operation each year a clean environment takes on  a whole new meaning.  It is highly concerning to us because we know through Cornell University’s research that particles will travel great distances thus placing the waters,wetlands, wildlife, and humans surely in line for contamination from the mining.  

    Do not generalize about those of us who live in other areas of Maine. There are many who would have loved to stay in the North, but in order to stay employed had to go where the work was. Many still dream of returning north. 
     

  • Guest

    The power of gold can tear down mountains. It also pollutes one of our most precious and irreplaceable resources…. water.
    Not worth the price of ruining the more precious environment.

  • Anonymous

    700 jobs sounds unrealistic. Often these big companies make unrealistic claims to get the public behind them. Case in point the bio-mass power plant in Ashland that was to make electricity cheap and only use left over brush from logging. Well turns out they needed to cut trees to fuel the plant and often had to shut it down because it cost to much to operate. Its shut down now. So much for there promise of employment.

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