Greenwash Film, LLC

A Documentary Film


noun – misleading or deceptive publicity disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.

Greenwashing is largely prohibited under laws and standards that regulate areas of consumer protection and advertising.

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The Horror Story

The tragedy began when a rural county landowner desired a well for running water on his property. He and the well-digger watched as shiny, metallic gold-looking flecks came up with the excavate.  It turned out to be gold, but that’s NOT a good thing!  They invested early in the newly created gold mining company hoping to get rich here.  Apparently these two men did not realize it would destroy our Menominee River, surface water, the ground water, and go on to ruin Great Lakes Michigan, maybe as far as into Great Lake Huron.

X Marks the Site of the PROPOSED Back Forty Gold Mine.

The squiggly yellow line is the Menominee River, which forms the border between northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s U.P.’s southern tip. The neighborly border towns of Menominee, MI and Marinette, WI enjoy the beautiful, sandy shore of The Green Bay, of Lake Michigan. Directly east of the mitten-shaped Lower Michigan is Lake Huron, just under the Mackinac (final “c” is silent) Bridge.

The Menominee River (largest watershed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [the “U.P.”]) flows into Lake Michigan. Three hundred miles south from the mouth (between Marinette & Menominee) is Chicago, IL. Within three hundred miles east, Lake Michigan flows into Lake Huron. This 300 miles becomes pivotal below.

The Great Lakes hold 22% of Earth’s fresh surface water, and 95% of Michigan’s water! (You know about global and western U.S. drought conditions.) Why would Michigan give up the water for 30-40 million people so one basically foreign company can mine for maybe a dozen years, take the money and run, leaving us with a permanently toxic clean-up site? More on how you can help prevent it is cleverly hidden in the Take Action tab.

The Troubles with Mining in Sulfides

When volcanoes formed Earth’s crust, a Volcanic Massive Sulfide (“V.M.S.”) ore body with lead, copper, silver, gold, nickel, zinc, etc. got deposited here. (Iron ore mining is very different than mining these target sulfide-bound minerals.) The massive trouble with mining a massive sulfide ore body is that when the sulfide is exposed to air or water, it naturally converts to SULFURIC ACID! Yes, battery acid!

One Trouble with Sulfuric Acid (besides its STRONG acidity)

Sulfuric acid leaches other toxic metals such as from the earth into wherever water flows: Surface water (rivers, streams, Great Lakes, smaller lakes, ponds, creeks, wetlands), and underground water flows, and our aquifers. Menominee & Marinette Cities’ municipal water comes from the mouth of the Menominee River. Menominee & Marinette Counties’ well water comes from the unseen, underground water sources.

Once the mining and this sulfuric “Acid Mine Drainage” (AMD) begins, it cannot be stopped. There has NEVER been a sulfide minerals mine on Earth that has not caused this lethally toxic Acid Mine Drainage. This AMD will continue to flow into our water for hundreds to thousands of years thereafter. There is no way to get the required amount of any buffering solution or matter into every space where it would be required to neutralize the acid.

Lethally toxic Acid Mine Drainage of sulfuric acid and lead, mercury, copper, manganese, etc. will kill aquatic life. Help us protect our area and children from this disaster. What’s worse than just this insidious AMD? AMD: of mercury, lead, copper, silver, manganese, cadmium, iron, and zinc, among other metals, AND cyanide, PBCs, solvents, petroleum, & other chemicals used in processing, left onsite in earthen dams.

Mining’s waste toxins called “tailings” are concentrated waste metals, rock (some 70% in this Massive Sulfide ore here is sulfuric acid-generating) and the millions of gallons of cyanide used in gold processing, would be left here, on-site forever. Over 90% of what would be mined here is left here as waste. This waste (of mercury, lead, copper, silver, manganese, cadmium, iron, and zinc, among other metals, AND cyanide, PBCs, solvents, petroleum, & other chemicals used in processing) is literally left in bulldozed up earthen “dams” (no steel, no concrete, just earthen berms).

The Trouble with Tailings

They may be liquid, solid, or a slurry of talcum powder-sized particles, which are highly toxic and may be radioactive. Solid tailings are often used as part of the structure itself. Here, the 70% sulfide (sulfuric acid generating) waste rock was listed to make the outer walls of their proposed earthen “Upstream” Tailings Dam (the worst, most prone to fail construction, but cheapest for the mining company.)

The original mining company claimed they would line this mountainous, prone to fail, earthen dam that needs to contain its toxins FOREVER, with a liner designed to last 35-ish years. Even if they spend good money on doubling this liner, its maximum useful life would only be 70 years, roughly half of the seven generations out we need to be protective for.


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