The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced today that it has approved a series of permits requested by Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company for a proposed sulfide mine near Marquette, Michigan. The permits had been opposed by citizens and environmental groups at public hearings and via written public comments. In response to the decision, Save the Wild UP issued a joint press release with the National Wildlife Federation, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, Michigan Environmental Council, and the Huron Mountain Club expressing continued opposition to the DEQ’s decision.
In the strongly worded press release, the groups assert that the permit does not meet the intent or conditions in Michigan’s sulfide mining law and question whether the DEQ took seriously the technical comments submitted by mine experts, including 700 pages of analysis and predictions of environmental devastation. The groups are planning to continue challenging the permits via administrative and legal action. The mine must still get at least one permit from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must receive permission from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to use 120 acres of state land via a 40-year lease.
Save the Wild UP has planned a rally on Monday in Marquette and has issued the following call for people living outside Marquette:
“If you do not live in the Marquette area, consider showing your opposition to the proposed Kennecott project in your neighborhood. Put a sign in your yard, get a group of people together in your city center, or write a letter to the editor!”