We have previously discussed the apparent contradiction from environmental groups who want access to minerals retrieved from the ground but don’t want to support the mining of them. This is sometimes called the ‘NIMBY’ or not in my backyard activism, which has become ‘BANANA’ or build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything. Here is the latest example, from a proposed silver mine recently halted due to environmental lawsuits:
District court judge Karen Seeley blocked Revett Minerals from initiating the first phase of construction in the controversial Rock Creek Mine in Northwest Montana unless the company secures permits from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Seeley based her ruling on the potential for sediment pollution in the Clark Fork River and, by extension, Lake Pend Oreille.
“The proposed Rock Creek Mine has been subjected to relentless review, and that review has been, to a great degree, the result of the unique nature of Rock Creek and its value to the threatened bull trout,” Seeley said in the ruling, later adding, “… Rock Creek is of unique ecological significance because of its impacts on fishery resources and local conditions at the proposed discharge site.”
They had previously been given a permit to begin construction, and now their permit has been revoked and they presumably will be halting all work until they can navigate an additional bureaucratic maze and uncertainty. It had been given the go-ahead via a favorable review in 2003 by the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality after 17 years of study:
The scope and magnitude of this affect was the focus of 17 years of study and review by a host of federal and state agencies. In 2003, the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued their favorable Record of Decision (“ROD”) for the Rock Creek project. The ROD includes 79 stipulations, each with several requirements, which we will implement to address the various issues identified during the review process. These measures primarily focus on protecting water quality and wildlife, and range from installing bear proof garbage cans to the complete relocation and redesign of the tailings disposal facility.
The environmentalists insist that their opposition to mining is rare and only applicable to ‘sensitive’ areas. It is clear that it is not rare, and that they oppose resource production throughout the United States. If the mine ever gets developed, it could produce almost 250 million ounces of silver and 2 billion pounds of copper over its 30 year lifespan, while employing 300 people with an average salary of $45,000 per year.
Earthworks was behind this campaign as well.