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April 22, 2018

4/10/2018 7:30:00 AM
Stop mining forever in the town of Lynne

To the Editor:

The issue - A mineral deposit exists in the town of Lynne in western Oneida County. Proponents for mining this deposit hope to create jobs and economic improvement for the county by leasing the land to a potential mining company that would sell the desired minerals on the open market. It contains small percentages of zink, lead, copper and gold. Over 98 percent is waste (tailings) that contain sulfur and after the desired minerals are removed, the tailings remain at the mine site. However, the risks to the environment and local inhabitants of the Willow Region and water bodies adjoining it are substantial.

Don't sign the application!

The risks - When a sulfide deposit is mined, the previously undisturbed sulfur gets exposed to air and water (rain, snow, humidity) and becomes sulfuric acid. If you are a creature living near a pool or hill with sulfuric acid in it, you may risk your health or die when the sulfuric acid enters your water or air supply! The next risk involves the various toxic chemicals that would be brought to the mine site to separate the desired elements from the tailings with the recently disturbed sulfur in them. Don't spill any of those! And to make matters worse, just look at the geographic location of the proposed mine site. It's located less than 1/2 mile west of the Willow Reservoir - today considered an "Outstanding Resource Water" by the state of Wisconsin. This designation means any water placed into the "Outstanding Resource Water" must be of the same quality of the naturally found water or better. How can anyone assure that water runoff or air containing sulfur won't degrade the Willow Flowage water? And what about those water bodies below the Willow like Lake Nokomis and the Wisconsin River? And what happens to the groundwater when you dig large holes in the Earth? Don't sign the application!

The current status - As reported in the Aug. 24, 2012 edition of The Lakeland Times, Oneida County Board members voted 12-9 to remove mining as "a policy goal" and to remove mining from future board agendas. Additionally, board member Billy Fried was quoted in the same article as saying, "It's about representing our constituents." And board member Paul Dean added, "I'm here today to find out what (the people of the county) want and they told us today." Well, nothing has changed. Don't sign the application!

The resolution - In order to proceed with mining, the land owner, in this case, Oneida County, must sign a completed application provided by a prospective mining interest. Based on the previously implemented policy, you can not sign such an application - that would be in direct conflict with the current policy of the Oneida County Board. The only other action the board should be allowed to take would be to strengthen the "no-mining" position by either creating a formal resolution or ordinance galvanizing this policy.

Choosing to ignore the "no-mining" position will open a Pandora's Box of responses from the many stakeholders that worked diligently for over 3 years to develop this policy, and that could be a real drain on county resources, time and expense.

Oneida County Board Members - it's easy! Go on record and tell any prospective mining entity that you are going to uphold the position our constituents asked you to take. We don't want to mine the Lynne

Deposit and we will not sign the application!

Jeff Brown


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