Federal Bill HR 4402 on Mining
Great Lakes waters, lands, and citizen’s rights are being threatened by a recently introduced federal legislation that will expedite the permitting process for developing minerals on federal land. According to the environmental advocacy group Freshwater Future, the bill H.R. 4402 would allow federal agencies to decide whether a project has significant affects on the quality of the human environment as a criteria for acceptance. This limits the opportunity for citizen action of projects as allowed under the National Environmental Policy Act. Additionally, the bill requires additional reviews of the project by other federal agencies to be avoided, placing the power in the hands of a single agency. HR 4402 encourages the reviewing federal agency to maximize development of the resources and only mitigate, not prevent, environmental damage. Time allotted for review of applications for exploration and development of minerals is proposed to be drastically reduced under this legislation.
Most importantly, our elected officials need to know your mind on this issue. Please take the time to call or write your official today, as the federal lands of this country should not be opened up for quick exploitation. You can find your elected official by clicking on this website: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/