Dan Blondeau, the communications representative for Eagle Mine left two comments on the blog last week. Both of them are rather condescending and confrontational, but more importantly, they shed light on the issue with County Road 595. Both were left on the second installment of Eagle Mine Saga and were in response to a reader’s comment, and a question asked by Up North Progressive. The first one addressed the reader’s valid concern over Humboldt Mill tripling the amount of wastewater the MDEQ will allow them to discharge into the local watershed:
The plan to direct ship ore was prior to Eagle buying, cleaning up, and refurbishing the Humboldt Mill. This plan dates back to 2004 when we were in the stages of permitting and design. Today the ore is trucked to the mill, processed, and then railed to facilities and ports in Canada. By using the mill we’re able to extract more ore – which means more jobs, investment, and taxes for the community. If you honestly believe the roughly 200 employees (85% Yoopers) and 200 contractors are destroying our home you need to come and take a tour of each site and talk to the people that run them. Dan Blondeau – Eagle Mine
The plan to direct ship ore refers of course to the original deal Eagle Mine made with the state of Michigan to put the ore on rail cars and haul it away for processing. They made that deal to keep their trucks off the local roads and not put the people of Marquette County at risk. The invitation to tour the mine facilities however is compelling. I hope people take Dan Blondeau up on his offer and schedule a visit soon.
The second comment came after the Up North Progressive suggested if Eagle Mine wants to show people what they’re really doing, they could start by disclosing their involvement in the lawsuit over County Road 595. This was Blondeau’s response to that challenge:
Eagle is not demanding a new road – plain and simple. The company is not a part of the lawsuit and is not contributing financially. The company already invested roughly $50 million in upgrades to existing roads. Furthermore, logging and other mining companies have use the same route through Marquette for decades.
When you build a house do your plans change at all? Of course. The same goes for any building or structure, including a mine.When things change you go through the proper procedures to ensure the changes are carefully considered and appropriately made. – Dan Blondeau
So Eagle Mine has nothing to do with the lawsuit or building of County Road 595. They’re perfectly happy with the roads they’re currently using, and have never been concerned with the miles they travel every day to get to Humboldt Mill with their ore. So happy in fact, they’ve spent millions on maintaining the roads they use. If it’s true they don’t need County Road 595, then what is the Marquette County Road Commission suing the EPA for?
Who wants this road built so badly, they’re willing to set up a dummy 501(c)(4) and secretly raise funds to pay for a lawsuit? Maybe Dan Blondeau will be willing to answer those questions for us next.