- Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 18:33
PRESS RELEASE-- Gogebic Taconite Asbestos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 14, 2013
Contact: Dave Blouin, Mining Committee Chair, John Muir Chapter (608) 220-4040
Gogebic Taconite Asbestos Cover-up Shows Independent Testing Is Required
Madison: In a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story, (Mine firm questions protester's role as a state geologist, Oct. 12, 2013)Gogebic Taconite (GTac) launched an outrageous personal attack on a scientist associated with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Sampling of rock from land leased by GTac for a proposed mine was recently confirmed to contain asbestos, a hazardous material known to cause lung cancer.
“GTac’s initial reaction to the discovery of asbestos at the mine site should be to welcome additional research and testing and to create a plan to protect workers and the public from the health threats associated with asbestos. Instead, GTac’s reaction is to try to cover-up the discovery by discrediting the data and by attacking a scientist who had nothing to do with the testing,” said Dave Blouin, Mining Committee Chair. “A responsible mining company would first be concerned about their potential workers and their neighbors in the area; attacking sound scientific research would not be the initial concern of a good corporate neighbor.”
GTac has alleged bias in the sampling despite the fact that testing showing asbestos is present was “done correctly” according to State Geologist James Robertson. Robertson stated the scientist had nothing to do with the testing. GTac has offered no scientific proof to counter the finding of asbestos in the ore it is interested in mining.
GTac’s repeated attacks on scientific study of its proposal demonstrate it cannot be trusted to disclose data that would show the proposal is unsafe. GTac recently threatened the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe with legal action to prevent an independent scientist from identifying wetlands in the mine site. Independent testing by professionals should be required immediately to determine the extent of the threat posed by asbestos at the site.