The Constantine-DOWA partnership is trying to inject their wastewater from mine exploration into the ground near-pristine tributaries of the Chilkat River. Recently, they submitted a permit application to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) with plans for a brand new wastewater management design, consisting mainly of flimsy plastic pipes, in a new location near Glacier Creek. ADEC is denying the public any opportunity to comment on this proposal that threatens the Chilkat River watershed’s clean water, healthy salmon runs, and the communities that depend on them.
What is SEACC doing about this? Together with our partners, we sent ADEC a formal letter requesting a 30 day public comment period, and a timeline for a final decision on the remand that came out of our successful challenge of the original permit in 2019. You can read that letter here, and the press release we sent out about it here. Now we are asking you to speak up in support of our request.
We’ve made it easy for you to send a letter to ADEC asking for a public process, with just one click.
The Palmer Project is a proposed underground sulfide mine located at the headwaters of the Chilkat Watershed, approximately 18 miles upstream of the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan, and 35 miles northwest of Haines. Two foreign corporations, Constantine Metal Resources and DOWA Metals and Mining, are trying to develop the pristine Glacier Creek Valley into a hard rock mine that threatens the Chilkat River with acid mine drainage and heavy metals, both of which are harmful to salmon and humans.
These impacts can occur during the exploration process, long before a mine is even developed. Majority owner, DOWA has just funded the Palmer Project’s upcoming field season to the tune of $18million, with plans to start building this waste management system as soon as the snow melts this spring and go underground in 2023.
Underground exploration is a point of no return for the Chilkat Watershed. Due to the nature of the ore body, once acid-generating rock is exposed to air and water, a chemical reaction will occur, transforming rock that is inert while underground into a substance similar to battery acid, called acid mine waste. Exposing the underground rock could also cause metals like copper, lead, and selenium to leach into the Chilkat Watershed, potentially harming salmon and other aquatic life, and human health. Any water encountered in this process has to go somewhere.
This permit would allow Constantine-DOWA to inject wastewater from underground exploration into the ground near-pristine tributaries of the Chilkat River, and ADEC is denying you any opportunity to take part in the decision-making process.
You can learn more about the Chilkat Watershed and the proposed Palmer Mine at our website.
There, you can download our fact sheets and find more easy ways to take action.
Your voice can go a long way to protect the Chilkat Watershed from the Palmer Project’s dirty wastewater. It’s up to us to assert our right to a public process on this permit. Please take action today to speak up for the Chilkat River and the life it supports.
Shannon Donahue, Upper Lynn Canal Organizer