Gila Resources Information Project executive director and Earth Matters co-producer Allyson Siwik talks to Aaron Mintzes, Senior Policy Counsel for Earthworks and Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) about socially and environmentally responsible mining. How can we protect communities, air, land, water and our sacred places and force industry to pay for the minerals extracted from public lands and for the cleanup of the toxic pollution they leave behind?
Over the past 4 years, the Trump administration and Congressional allies have worked to fast track mining of so called critical and strategic minerals through administrative and legislative actions that rollback requirements for public participation and environmental protections and give away our public lands. Industry justifies these efforts as needed for the transition to a clean energy economy and for national security. As the nation’s number 1 toxic polluter, mining operations contaminate our land, air, and water, adversely affecting the public health of nearby communities. Cherished public lands like the Grand Canyon and Bears Ears are under continual threat from mineral development. Here in southwest New Mexico, expansions of existing copper mines and new mining proposals threaten to impact adjacent communities and our public lands.
Aaron Mintzes, Senior Policy Counsel, Earthworks
With a law degree from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Law School, Aaron has researched and lobbied at all levels of government on a variety of environmental issues with Clean Water Action and Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Joining Earthworks in 2011 as the Senior Policy Counsel, Aaron assists the policy team with developing and advocating for more responsible hard rock mining and on oil and gas issues.
Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director for the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)
Aimee has worked on mining issues for more than 20 years, with substantial experience supporting communities directly affected. In addition, she has been Program Director and Executive Director for children’s environmental health and women’s leadership nonprofit organizations. Aimee currently serves as IRMA’s executive director.
Earthworks – earthworks.org
Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance – responsiblemining.net