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“Evaluate the gabbro deposits for amphibole asbestos fibers”

We received this email from William Rom, the son of Bill and Barb Rom of Ely, MN who “invented” “Canoe Country” shortly after WWII, creating Canoe Country Outfitters, a thriving wilderness outfitting business which is still active in Ely today…

“Good luck on this.  The sulfur-containing residues from copper-nickel mining could best be compared to hard-rock mining communities out West.  At Silverton, CO, where there were hundreds of lead-zinc-silver-gold mines from the 19th century, the rivers still run orange.  Silverton is now an “extreme” ski area with one chairlift and back country guides to lead you to the best bowls.  My daughters, Nicole and Meredith, and I skied it and enjoyed the bowls only to come to the river just before the road.  We crossed on narrow snow bridges being careful not to step into the orange water where our ski back country guides said that the “acid” would ruin the bottoms of our skis.  Imagine trying to drink the water-and this is more than 100 years after the mining companies left!

Any mining on the South Kawishiwi will have to carry all of the ore outside of the BWCA Watershed and preferably process the ore in Duluth or elsewhere.

Particulate air pollution will still be a problem.  The University of Minnesota Public Health School will also have to evaluate the gabbro deposits for amphibole asbestos fibers.



PS. See Canoe Country Wilderness on Amazon.com William N. Rom, MD, MPH Sol & Judith Bergstein Professor of Medicine and Environmental Medicine Director, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine New York University School of Medicine”

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