Stop Dumping Mining Waste Into Our Water
Fix the Fill Rule
Mines are using a loophole to dump waste into America's lakes and streams: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to close this loophole in the Clean Water Act, protecting our nation's clean water from mining pollution. Please join this national call-in effort to stop the dumping of mining waste in America's waters.
Call the White House today at 202-456-1414, and ask President Obama to restore the Clean Water Act's prohibition on dumping mining waste into our clean water.
The Problem: Taking advantage of a loophole that the Bush administration created in Clean Water Act rules, mining companies are using America's streams and lakes as dumping grounds for unlimited amounts of solid mining wastes. For example, the Kensington Gold Mine near Juneau is planning on destroying a freshwater lake by calling mining waste "fill" and dumping it untreated into the lake. This loophole is also being used to allow mountaintop removal coal mines to dump their waste into Appalachian streams.
The Solution: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to close the waste loophole in the Clean Water Act, and President Obama should instruct the agency to do so immediately.
The Action: Please call the White House at 202-456-1414 today!
Please let us know you took action and called the White House by clicking here.
Together, we can demonstrate to the White House the urgent need for action to restore the prohibition of dumping mining waste in our water.
Lauren Pagel, Policy Director
What does it mean that we are supporting Bristol Bay - the community, the fisheries, and the eco-system? It does not mean that we are anti-mining. It means that we are concerned about the risks and we will do what we have to to hold court until we are absolutely positive that the risks don't outweigh the benefits. If it is possible for the habitat (eco-system and community of Bristol Bay) to harmoniously co-exist with the proposed mine, then pro we are.
Let it be said, that SATELite is not anti-mining. Understandably that would be a contradiction given the jewelry business that spurred the SATELite concept. We are seeking the support for ethical practices that consider the full circle effects of actions. Accountability in all realms - be it community, eco-system, and otherwise.
SATELite chose this years cause for its longevity, specificity, and progressive full circle approach to seeking a desirable outcome - Earthworks.
Their mission in short:
EARTHWORKS is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral development, in the U.S. and worldwide. EARTHWORKS stands for clean water, healthy communities and corporate accountability. We're working for solutions that protect the earth's resources and communities.
How They Work We fulfill our mission by working with communities and grassroots groups to reform government policies, improve corporate practices, influence investment decisions and encourage responsible materials sourcing and consumption. We expose the health, environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of mining through work informed by sound science.
I researched a variety of NGO's prior - and Earthworks stuck out as the most solid with the most reasonable principles. In any of my environmental efforts the first thing I ask myself is - If we say "NO" with a hard line, then what is the alternative? in this case meaning - do we have a plan b in case we don't get what we want? Is there a compromise somewhere? if the mine isn't here - will it just be moved somewhere that could easily have similar or more detrimental effects?
Ultimately SATELite will be a non-profit so that the allocation of funds can be much more specific and direct. That process will take some time (and this project was conceptualized in Feb of this year). Currently - we are confident in Earthworks with their solid foundation and vested principles.
What do we need to know to make informed decisions about the proposed mine?
What are the EPA regulations for mining of this nature?
What are Northern Dynasty's and Anglo American's company wide principles in regards to the eco-system?
What are the effects of an open pit mine on the environment? land, water, air
What is the history of the environmental protection efforts in mining?
What is the environmental history of mines of this nature (size, location, timing)? Anglo and Dynasty mines? Alaskan mines?
Are there any new regulations in place that will change the outcome of a new mine relative to the above history?
What are the current promises made by the proposed mine in regards to the eco-system?
Do these companies have a history of upholding these promises?
Do Dynasty and Anglo have a vested interest in Alaska?
Are their current efforts only that which is mandated?
Have these companies addressed the impact their current research has had on the eco-system? What are these impacts? and what has or has not been done?
What are the positives for Alaska and the community in mining this area?
What are the risks?
What are the specific predictions regarding the monetary gain of Alaska and the community?
How long will the mine be active? and what happens when it is no longer operating? to the community & the development that was a direct result of the mine?
Does Alaska support the mine? politically? socially?
Does the Bristol Bay community support the mine?
If the mine does not get passed what is the alternative? Do they move to another area? do they try again later? What needs to happen for us to be confident that Pebble is a healthy and progressive proposition? What needs to happen in order for SATELite and Earthworks to feel as if they have had a positive impact on the future of mining in the larger picture?
Knowing the answers to these questions - understanding why these are the pertinent questions regarding the Pebble Mine - will help you decide where you stand. To make your own decisions see the full document and answers to these questions here...
The anti-Pebble mine campaign has been going on for the last 5 years. Litigation just pushed a vote back to 2011. This is as good as it is bad in that what we are looking for is a happy medium between all.
*Setting back the litigation also allows for more testing and experimenting in the Bristol Bay area. This means - they search for more metal as they expand the range of their testing - offering more incentive for their investors to push harder. This also means that the affects they have had on the immediate eco-system just through their testing will be amplified. Native caribou populations are already changing their migration patterns due to the invasive equipment and helicopters. This affects the ability for Native Alaskans to hunt sustainably.
*Pro-pebble industry supporters are some of the most well funded organizations in the world - because mining is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. More investors have money in mining than any other industry. This means - their priorities - as in most business lie in profits. The potential negative environmental affects are irrelevant to these parties.
*As time draws on the investment of those outside of the forefront of the Grassroots support are more tapped of their resources, and are less inspired. Thus the monetary support on the environmental side is not as strong as it once was. This is why is it more crucial than ever to join us - and support the Bristol Bay Watershed - the surrounding eco-system - the community - the wild Alaskan salmon - the atmosphere - and more.
Are you seeing the pattern here? As they grow stronger - "we" have a history of growing weaker. Are we going to let that happen? SATELite will have no part of that - we hope you feel the same way.
Knowing that many of you involved in SATELite are friends and fans of the late and great Shane McConkey - we wanted to share this photo with you...
I would like to think that there are very few companies left that are not somewhat considerate of their environmental impact - however, as most business owners will attest - profit is the bottom line, and sometimes changes that may be better for the environment don't always mean you can sustain a business.
So - please let it be known - no matter your previous "green" affiliation or actions, this event is about supporting the eco-system and business and individuals, and thus any participation is gladly welcome. If being "conscious" is not new to you - we thank you! If this event is your beginning efforts - we applaud you. We couldn't be happier to be a part of your first step!
(Additionally - we are advised by a network of green business and consultants. We would like to offer any assistance we may to help you carry on this process. So please let us know what we can do. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Most simply ask - how did this all start? while others knowing my business jump to conclusions about the potential contradictory nature of being the owner of a jewelry business that depends on mining, and organizing an fundraiser for "anti-mining" actions in Alaska.
Initially - let me say that life is full of contradictions, some beautiful, some simply human nature and none that evade judgment. However, I am one to embrace the process and learn from the journey.
SATELite is a foundation supporting a different cause yearly. The cause is determined by the "Pay it Forward" Board of Directors and our membership. This year is the protection of Bristol Bay - the land, the water, the air, the fisheries, the community, a history, and a native way of life. Next year - it may be the Pacific Trash Heap, or North American redwood forests, it could be anything that suggests a need. (for more on this please see: the cause.)
Regarding this years cause, we are not anti-mining, we are however considerate of the reprocutions of irresponsible mining, thus our paramount interest in this cause is enabling ethical mining. (more at SATELite's Stance)
The Foundation has been created from the desire to reach more people. I am a business owner who operates with a very small fraction of the market share. The business was founded with ethical mining principles, the use of recycled gold, and an affiliation to 1% for the Planet. The heart and soul of Blair Lauren Brown- fine jewelry is conservation and consideration. Being so passionate about my conservation efforts I wanted to share my knowledge with a wider audience.
I thought I could do a presentation about the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay for a 100 or so people at a local bar - maybe a small raffle, and send some money in support. At the mention of the cause, combined with the passion in my voice for such I was met with tremendous support. This was in the beginning of Feb. 2010. So, I find myself, a month later, with more support and interest than I could have dreamed. The concept has grown and melded to the interests and needs of our community and the newly developed partnerships reflect that. I am already seeing one of the key components of the SATELite concept come to life - communities supporting each other and other communities. I couldn't be happier. The network of people coming together to support us, the cause, and one another is truly a wonderful thing.