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McCollum Opposes Anti-Environment Riders, Including Latest Attempt to Allow Dangerous Mining Next to Minnesota’s BWCA

September 7, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, today opposed a Republican amendment package that included an amendment to allow mining in the Superior National Forest adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The amendment, offered by Congressman Tom Emmer, prevents the United States Forest Service from protecting federal land in the Superior National Forest adjacent to the BWCA and Voyageurs National Park from dangerous sulfide-ore copper mining. It was packaged with other amendments that mostly slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and otherwise restrict its activities.

“All of the amendments in this package are harmful, but the Boundary Waters amendment affects Minnesota most directly and negatively,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “It mandates that dangerous copper-sulfide ore mining will be allowed in the watershed, regardless of the conclusions of the Forest Service’s environmental study.  It also deliberately ignores hundreds of thousands of public comments from Minnesotans and Americans.”

The House passed the amendment package by voice vote, but Congresswoman McCollum vowed to work to remove partisan riders like the Emmer amendment as the legislation moves forward in Congress.

“Minnesotans and all Americans can rely on me to stand with them and work for the removal of harmful riders throughout this bill,” Congresswoman McCollum said.

The full text of Congresswoman McCollum’s floor remarks opposing the amendment package and the Emmer amendment is available here.