Let’s recap Eagle Mine’s activities in Marquette County so far.
First, the Marquette County Road Commission, being funded by a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group called Stand U.P., sued the Environmental Protection Agency on July 8 over their temper tantrum with County Road 595. This road, running through Wildcat Canyon, would impact 26 acres of wetlands and require bridges or culverts over 22 streams. The entire length of the proposed road is 21 miles. Townships impacted by the new road are Champion, Ely, Humboldt and Michigamme. Pay attention to that last township, it’s important.
After a heated, controversial public hearing over granting a new permit to dump wastewater from Humboldt Mill into local watersheds and allowing Eagle Mine to build a second outfall, on July 2 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality took into consideration modifying the new permit to allow a third outfall, which would triple the amount of wastewater being released into the local watershed and greatly impacting the middle branch of the Escanaba River. No public hearing was scheduled for this change and only an email address to write comments by August 3, 2015, was provided to the local community.
Eagle Mine wants a new road, and the ability to triple their wastewater output. What more could they possibly want? More land, of course; 40 acres more or less to be exact.
In a Michigan Department of Natural Resources press release dated July 29, 2015, Eagle Mine wants to lease 40 acres of land in Michigamme township for mineral exploration. The particular 40 acres they want is located at NE1/4 NE1/4, Section 8, T50N,R29W.
Eagle Mine already requested Section 13 of the same township last fall. The region is located in the Yellow Dog River Wilderness. Last November, June RydHolm wrote a letter to the Michigan DNR asking them to please deny Eagle Mine’s lease for Section 13, citing the negative impact it would have on wildlife in the area. Now, the mine wants to dig up more land in Michigamme Township.
The Michigan DNR will be accepting written comments about this new mineral lease until August 26, 2015. At this time, there is no schedule for a public hearing. You can submit your comments in writing by email DNR-Minerals@Michigan.gov or by mailing a letter to Office of Minerals Management, DNR, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI, 48909-7952.
Eagle Mine wants a road. Eagle Mine wants to pollute more water. Eagle Mine wants to destroy more pristine wilderness. Mining operations are devestating to the environment. There is no recovery and the damage is permanent. The EPA is trying to at least slow the mine down, but The U.P.’s congressman is more concerned about the “moose-proof” fence. What does Dan Benishek have to say about the EPA? That’s for next time.