Saturday, September 24, 2022

Play

The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

Play

Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Conservation Groups, Nez Perce Not Sold on ID Gold Mine

Play

Tuesday, August 2, 2022   

Idaho has issued its first major permit for a gold mine east of McCall. Conservation groups and the Nez Perce tribes say the project raises alarm bells.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued an air-quality permit to Perpetua Resources Idaho for its Stibnite Gold Project, an open-pit mine proposed at the headwaters of the East Fork of the South Fork Salmon River.

Josh Johnson, senior conservation associate for the Idaho Conservation League, said there are concerns about particulate matter from the mining, especially the carcinogen arsenic, which the area's rocks naturally contain in high levels.

"The arsenic gets attached to what's called the fugitive dust," Johnson explained. "The dust that is just getting thrown into the air by different operations or by vehicle traffic, and that arsenic is one that can obviously have big impacts on human health if it's in high enough concentrations."

The Idaho Conservation League, Save the South Fork Salmon and Nez Perce Tribe have appealed the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's decision, arguing officials violated the federal Clean Air Act and state regulations. Perpetua Resources countered it will be mining for antimony, which is used for storage batteries, and noted the mine will create jobs.

Fred Coriell, a board member for Save the South Fork Salmon, said the conditions in the air quality permit are essentially voluntary and not legally enforceable.

Coriell emphasized without stringent controls, his organization is concerned the project could have health consequences for people who use the area.

"There's a lot of recreation that our members do up there: hunting, fishing, floatboating, berry picking, hiking, family camping," Coriell outlined. "They pass through the mine site to access areas that are in and around Frank Church Wilderness."

The Nez Perce Tribe said the mine would be within its "aboriginal homeland where the Tribe has treaty-reserved rights and natural resources, cultural resources and sacred sites."

Other permits and regulations are required for the project to move forward, including an environmental review by the U.S. Forest Service.

Disclosure: The Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …


Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …


Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)

Environment

Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …

Environment

A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021