Don’t Bring Back Toxic Sulfide Mining

Target: Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin

Goal: Denounce Scott Walker for lifting moratorium on environmentally destructive sulfide mines.

In 1998, Wisconsin placed very strict regulations on the creation of new sulfide mines, citing concerns about water pollution. The regulations required that before a new sulfide mine could be created, a mining company would have to provide an example of another sulfide mine in the United States or Canada that had operated for at least ten years without unacceptable pollution. Governor Walker has signed a bill removing these regulations and allowing new sulfide mines in the state, even though no one has been able to show that these mines can operate without excessive pollution.

Sulfide mines produce incredibly dangerous pollutants that threaten wildlife and human health. When sulfides are exposed to water and air, they produce sulfuric acid, which is extremely harmful to aquatic ecosystems. Acid mine drainage results in rivers with low pH and high concentrations of metals and can persist for tens or even hundreds of years after a mine is closed. Sulfide mine pollution leads to a great reduction in biodiversity, as few species can survive in these harsh conditions.

Although supporters of sulfide mining point to the Flambeau Mine as an example of an environmentally safe mine, in actuality this mine was a major source of waterway pollution. This mine only operated for four years, and in spite of extensive reclamation efforts, waterways near the mine still contained abnormally high levels of copper and zinc 14 years after the mine closed. Thus, the Flambeau mine does not prove that sulfide mining can be performed without environmental harm.

Sign this petition to denounce Governor Walker for ending the sulfide mining moratorium, which will inevitably lead to potentially irreversible destruction of Wisconsin’s river ecosystems.


Dear Governor Walker,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in your decision to lift the moratorium on sulfide mining in your state. Even though you voted in agreement with the moratorium in 1998, you now appear to be putting commercial interests ahead of the health of the environment and people of Wisconsin. There has never been a sulfide mine that did not pollute nearby waterways.

Aside from doing significant environmental damage, pollutants from sulfide mines are also detrimental to human health. Sulfide mining can release arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Mercury in particular is highly neurotoxic and can accumulate in fish and thus in humans who consume fish. Mercury is a real, not just theoretical threat. For example, ten percent of infants born in the Lake Superior region of Minnesota had unsafe blood mercury levels at birth, likely due to the mercury contamination in Minnesota’s waterways.

Your decision has put your state’s environment and citizens, especially infants, at risk. I am appalled at your lack of concern for your constituents. Going forward, it is your responsibility to make sure that these mines are as safe as possible to limit the harm that comes from your decision to lift the moratorium.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jack Pearce

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  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    no sulfide!

  2. Tina shurtleff says:

    Another attack on our environment and water from an on the take politician

  3. Simon Rimmer says:

    Big money needs to smarten up. Sad what greed is doing to animals and the planet. Humans suck!!!

  4. As our environment is destroyed, so are we!

  5. If they insist on re-visiting these toxic ways and means it should be allowed. The proviso is that their families have to relocate to within a relatively close location to prove how safe it is for us. The first family should be relocated immediately. Followed by Walker’s etc. Good idea I think.

  6. Margaret Reid says:

    Walker has made a very, very bad decision that threatens humans and the environment! He must be desperate for votes in the near future to lift the ban. It is so unfortunate that greed seems to win over the environment and human life. What good is a job that poisons you? NONE if you ask me but the only ones who benefit are the shareholders with the return for their investment. Pretty sad and selfish!


  8. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    As a society of suing for damages in environmental and especially human health, I feel they are putting themselves out there ready to have a huge lawsuit against them.
    In this day and age this type of mining should never be allowed and especially that the prior requirements were never met? I also agree that Gov. Walker should be among the first lot of neighbours along with the companies shareholders and management, if he is so cocksure that it is safe for all and sundry….
    As for the mercury situation there is a ‘mercury in suspension’ now this mercury is in the water and never sinks, thus enters our bodies via our eyes, noses and corners of our mouth etc every time we swim, bathe or shower in the contaminated water.From there it makes it way to the base of the brain and never leaves the body. Speak to people with mercury poisoning, and it isn’t very nice to share your life with this metal. I know this as our current town water supply has this along with all the other sulfides and heavy metals left over from mining.
    We only drink rain water that we catch off our roof, and many even bathe in their rain water. Boiling the water can actually enhance the toxicity of some of the heavy metals.
    This is a disaster waiting to happen, sadly, and it will be the innocent people who will suffer the most.

  9. Idiot.

  10. When you have no conscience,,,,,,,,,

  11. Scott Walker is yet another Republican who puts industry profits above the health of the public and the environment.

  12. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared❗️😠

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