Seeking to answer the question of whether or not the PolyMet mine proposal is a “good deal” or “bad deal” for Minnesota, longtime insurance industry professional Terry Larkin writes in the Star Tribune that it’s a question of how much risk is acceptable.
Describing himself as frustrated that the public debate has not included any discussion of what is safe enough and what isn’t, Larkin acknowledges that all economic activity creates risk. But, he says, there must be a framework for evaluating plans and proposal for risk.
In PolyMet’s case, Larkin writes that to be deemed an acceptable risk, the answer to the following three questions must be “yes”:
- Is there a way to safely contain the polluted water?
- If that system fails, threatening to leach toxic pollutants into groundwater, is there some early warning system?
- Is there some way to collect and escrow the money needed for the holding tanks and the warning system, for when the alarm rings?
Read Larkin’s column at this link.