Two days before the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ceases to exist, a statement was issued giving “final approval” of mining permits that were being contested by Huron Mountain Club, National Wildlife Federation, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. The approval was given before the administrative law judge had submitted a clarification of his ruling. The MDEQ stated the judge’s ruling was not needed since it pertained to Eagle Rock as a place of worship. They believe that a place of worship must be a building and therefore negates comments that were not in favor of the mining company.
The MDEQ gave preliminary approval to Kennecott for the reopening of a crushing facility in Humboldt township in Marquette County. Four separate permits were given draft approval and the MDEQ is now seeking comments from the public and stakeholders. A public hearing is scheduled for December 1, 2009 from 4pm to 10pm in Ishpeming, MI at Westwood High School, located at 300 Westwood Dr. Comments are sought on the 1) Air Use permit, 2) NPDES for discharge of treated water into the Escanaba River watershed, 3) Non-ferrous metallic mining permit to operate and reclaim the facility, and 4) deposition of tailings into a pit.
Each person will have five minutes to address the MDEQ with their concerns.
Below are links to the permit applications:
Air Use Permit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/5of4_295852_7.pdf
NPDES Permit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/doc40f4_295708_7.pdf
Comments can also be submitted via email to DEQ-Kennecott-Humboldt-Millemail@example.com or by mail to:
DEQ Kennecott Comments
Office of Geological Survey
P.O. Box 30256
Lansing, MI 48909-7756
Mich. regulator wants more info on proposed mine
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s chief environmental regulator wants more information about a rocky outcrop in Marquette County that could affect plans for a nickel and copper mine.
Steven Chester, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, on Friday asked Administrative Law Judge Richard Patterson to reconsider his recommendation about the outcrop, known as Eagle Rock.
Patterson last August said Chester should grant Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. permits to build the mine — but only if steps are taken to protect Eagle Rock, which Indian tribes use for spiritual ceremonies.
Kennecott Eagle plans to run the mine’s entrace tunnel beneath the 60-foot-high rock.
Chester asked Patterson to look further into whether Eagle Rock is legally a place of worship. After getting the judge’s opinion, Chester will decide on the permits.
Below is the actual Order of Remand from Chester
According to state officials, the creation of a new Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) will take effect on January 17, 2010. The department’s mission will be a familiar one to our state government family: To conserve, manage, protect and promote Michigan’s natural resources, environment and related economic interests for current and future generations. This includes implementing an ecosystem-based strategy for resource management, effectively using natural resources in a sustainable manner, and providing for continuous improvements in Michigan’s air, water and soils while facilitating and encouraging economic growth.