Washington Wild submitted comments to the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest expressing concerns about a new proposal to green light exploratory drilling as a preliminary step to a potential open pit mine in Okanogan County. A Canadian mining firm has put forward the request, which is moving forward under a “categorical exclusion” from the National Environmental Policy Act, an option usually reserved for noncontroversial projects. The letter raised concerns about significant impacts to surface and groundwater resources based on pollution from drill lubrication. At least three municipalities, Winthrop, Twisp and Pateros rely on the Methow River basin (the majority of which is owned by the federal government and managed by the U.S. Forest Service) for their source of clean and safe drinking water. Read the Scoping Comments on Flagg Mountain Exploratory Drilling.
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