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“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin wrote that back before the Internet and all our modern sophistication. Does it still apply?

Take hard-rock mining. Mining was largely responsible for Montana’s rise as a state. But we can look at many places across our state where the impacts of mining persist.

Butte, Anaconda and many other locations have required hundreds of millions of dollars to repair damage to our water, land and communities. No one knows what to do with the Berkeley Pit.

The Zortman-Landusky mine in eastern Montana has cost Montana taxpayers more than $50 million to treat wastewater leaching from the closed mine. Montana taxpayers are on the hook pretty much forever for about $2 million a year.

We can bring an end this "subsidy" for irresponsible mining by voting for for Initiative 186, the “Yes for Responsible Mining” ballot initiative.

I-186 requires the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to deny permits for new hard-rock mines if the mine's reclamation plan does not "contain measures sufficient to prevent the pollution of water without the need for perpetual treatment."

Now that’s an ounce of prevention. Vote "yes" for I-186.

Dave Hadden,


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