Boundary Waters Action Fund Clean Water Toolkit 

Week of August 17, 2020

Overview 

This week, the Boundary Waters Action Fund (BWAF) released a new report outlining the threat to clean water posed by a proposed sulfide-ore copper mine on the edge of the Wilderness. Studies show that if such a mine were introduced near the Wilderness, water contamination would be inevitable.

 

Disseminating this research is part of BWAF’s 2020 election program, which seeks to elevate the sulfide-ore copper mining threat to the Boundary Waters, educate voters on the issue, and support candidates who are committed to protecting the Boundary Waters. 

 

Please use the guidance below to highlight how a sulfide-ore copper mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters jeopardizes the rivers and lakes where Minnesotans fish, swim, spend time with their families, and get drinking water. Thank you for helping us amplify this important issue!

 

Messaging 

  • The value of clean water is priceless and cannot be measured in dollars and cents, particularly as sources of clean water are becoming more scarce in the U.S. and around the world.

  • The Boundary Waters is beloved by Minnesotans and all Americans for its clean water and magnificent wildlife. A risky sulfide-ore copper mine on the edge of the Wilderness would jeopardize the rivers and lakes where thousands of people fish, swim, spend time with their families, and get clean drinking water each year.

  • Sulfide-ore copper mining is considered the riskiest type of mining, and studies show that such a mine would inevitably contaminate the Boundary Waters. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service has concluded that a sulfide-ore copper mine would pose an “unacceptable risk of irreparable harm” to the Boundary Waters.

  • 99% of sulfide-ore copper mining in the U.S. has resulted in the release of toxic chemicals that irreparably damaged the surrounding waters and wilderness. This type of mine is just too risky to put in the edge of the Boundary Waters.

  • Minnesotans understand this threat, and overwhelmingly support permanently protecting the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining, citing preserving clean water among the top reasons they favor permanent protection.

 

Fact-Sheet Toplines

  • Sulfide-ore copper mining is much more toxic than Minnesota’s taconite mining. Because less than one percent of sulfide-ore contains metals, it produces giant waste piles that pollute not just land, air, and soil, but groundwater, wetlands, rivers, and lakes as well. (Minerals Engineering, May 2000)

  • Pollution from these mines will flow directly into the heart of the Boundary Waters. Even conservative models of pollution show that waterways would carry contaminants into the Wilderness. A single mine in this watershed will continually pollute the Wilderness for centuries. (Journal of Hydrology, February 2016)

  • 93% of copper mines in the U.S. have experienced a spill or accidental release. A study of 15 sulfide-ore copper mines in the United States – representing 99% of current U.S. copper production – found that 14 (93%) experienced accidental releases of pollution that resulted in significant water contamination. (Earthworks, May 2019)

  • Acid mine drainage could wipe out local fish species. Heavy metals and associated pollutants from sulfide-ore copper mines harm microorganisms, aquatic plants, and fish. Acid mine drainage also increases the acidity of waters, which certain species will be unable to survive, disrupting entire wildlife ecosystems. (Earthworks, April 2017)

 

Social Guidance

 

Retweet/repost BWAF on:

 

Post on your own channels:

  • The Boundary Waters is one of the last places in the country where you can drink water straight from the lakes. A risky, untested sulfide-ore copper mine in the area would change that – leaving these pristine waters contaminated for hundreds of years. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • Sulfide-ore copper mining threatens the clean water legacy of the Boundary Waters & is deeply unpopular with the Minnesotans who fish, swim, and spend time with their families in this precious Wilderness. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • New polling finds preserving clean water is a priority for Minnesotans, who overwhelmingly favor permanent protections for the Boundary Waters. Minnesotans want lawmakers who will #SaveTheBoundaryWaters, not contaminate it with toxic & dangerous waste. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • Clean Water > Toxic Waste. Sulfide-ore copper mining on the edge of the Boundary Waters would contaminate these pristine waters with harmful waste for centuries. We need elected officials who will #SaveTheBoundaryWaters, not destroy the Wilderness. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • CONFIRMED: Nearly 70% of Minnesotans favor permanently protecting the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining, citing preserving clean water as a top priority. This is a clear mandate from voters to their legislators #SaveTheBoundaryWaters https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • New polling finds 57% of Minnesotans are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes sulfide-ore copper mining on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Preserving clean water is a top priority among voters who demand that lawmakers #SaveTheBoundaryWaters. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • New fact-sheet from @BWCAaction highlights the threat to clean water posed by sulfide-ore copper mining on the edge of the Boundary Waters. The crown-jewel of Minnesota is in jeopardy & needs to be permanent protected NOW. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020
     

  • New fact-sheet from @BWCAaction confirms that sulfide-ore copper mining threatens the clean water legacy of the Boundary Waters & puts the rivers and lakes where people fish, swim and spend time with their families at risk of contamination. https://www.boundarywatersaction.org/factsheet2020