BC mine proposal on Unuk headwaters
By Victoria McDonald
October 07, 2013
There has never been a mine of this size developed in an area with this much precipitation above critical salmon habitat. The plan calls for complex new technology and engineering. All the different systems necessary are analyzed separately; there is no mention of cascading events that precede most industrial accidents. For example, the Fukushima disaster was caused by one event, an earthquake that led to a tidal wave, power outage, severed access for emergency workers and multiple system failure. It is still leaking radioactive waste into the Pacific.
The entire conclusion that this mine can be developed while protecting salmon is based on first-of-its-kind technology designed to protect natural systems that are not completely understood. Everything in the EA is based on models, assumptions, predictions, simulations, man-made habitats and interpretations. The uncertainties regarding mitigation are particularly troubling. We need to know how major problems will be handled and if bonding has been established to pay for mistakes.
This mine will bring rapid massive development in an ecologically and culturally rich area in BC and Alaska. Traditional and Customary Usage by native tribes is given little attention, one of the main contentions Native Alaskans have with mines. Additionally, the Unuk is contained within Misty Fjords, a National Monument, and the Forest Service is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the monument and its uses.
Most of this technology has never before been tried, especially not for the 250 years the company must plan for. The Unuk River should not be the lab rat. The risk for failure is very high while the optimistic predictions are likely to have problems.
The comment period on the EA end Oct 21. If you'd like to comment online, go to http://americansalmonforest.org/ksm-comment-form and find the tab marked "Transboundary Issues".
Senator Murkowski's phone: 877- 829-6030. Senator Begich's phone: 877-501-6275.
About: " Since the Oct 2011 meeting in Ketchikan with Seabridge's plans for the KSM mine on the headwaters of the Unuk River, I have followed the progress of this proposal. Here is the latest."
Received October 04, 2013 - Published October 07, 2013
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