Posted on: Monday, May 14th, 2012 at 2:01 pm
Great Lakes waters, lands and citizen’s rights are being threatened by recently introduced Federal legislation that will expedite mining of minerals. This legislation (H.R. 4402) expedites mining exploration and mine permits on federal lands.
Of major concern to you is that our opportunities to protect the places we love will be short-changed. For example, the bill:
- Allows the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service, whichever agency is dubbed the “lead,” to unilaterally decide the application does not “significantly affects the quality of the human environment” and side-step a review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA);
- By side-stepping NEPA, it minimizes our right as citizens to engage in civil action to protect our resources;
- Requires the lead agency to avoid additional reviews of the application. This largely leaves out reviews from our federal agency charged with protecting our environment – the Environmental Protection Agency;
- Makes “bringing the mineral resource to the market place” a higher priority than environmental protection and citizen’s health by requiring the lead agency to “maximize the development of the mineral resource, while mitigating environmental impacts;” and
- Creates unrealistic timelines for review of applications – less than half of what it took the Eagle Mine in Michigan to gain approval. Even more unrealistic is the requirement for the lead agency to negotiate with the applicant up front for more time to review the application.
H.R. 4402 is currently in the House Committee on Natural Resources and we need to make sure it doesn’t gain traction. Call your Congressional representative and let them know you want this bill stopped! If you are unsure of how to reach your member, click here to look them up using your zip code:http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Source: Freshwater Future