For the past several weeks, a trial has been taking place in Lansing over the fate of a proposed sulfide mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A coalition of groups opposed to the mine–the National Wildlife Federation, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and the Huron Mountain Club–sued the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for issuing a permit for the Eagle Mine near Marquette, Michigan. The groups charge that the mine permit is illegal because it will “pollute, impair or destroy the air, water or other natural resources or the public trust in those resources.”
The Lansing City Pulse has published an article titled “Anatomy of a mine: Lansing hearings put U.P. wilderness on trial” that gives an in depth overview of the testimony given by mine opponents and their arguments. It’s an important article to read and Mediamouse.org strongly urges our readers to check it out.
Pending the outcome of the trial–which must by law be completed by the end of June–the state administrative law judge who is hearing the case can revoke the permits, send them back for revisions, or approve them as they are. The non-binding ruling then goes to the DEQ’s director, Steven Chester, who can either accept or reject the ruling. Either party in the case can then appeal the decision to the Ingham County Circuit Court.