A Dec. 21 story reported, “Senator urges a grilling before drilling.” Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., calling for a full environmental impact study before a mining plan is completed is premature. There is a process.
The exploration (research) must be done first, and then a mining plan can be completed and submitted to the Bureau of Land Management for approval of a mining operation. It would be outrageous for a company to jump the gun and seek a permit to mine before it completed studying and developed a mine.
I would like to see an environmental assessment about the exploratory drilling aspect of the project. This way the company can do the necessary research and then present the factual evidence about the mineral deposit and complete a mining plan. After the mine plan has been completed and submitted to the BLM, it would then trigger the environmental impact study.
As Chris Strebig, public affairs director of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, said in the story, “If a full mining operation was proposed, it would almost certainly trigger an environmental impact study.” Let’s follow the process.
There are too many roadblocks these days to get people working again, and delaying the exploration could mean another missed opportunity for new high-paying jobs in Southwest Washington.