Note Sure What to Write? These articles can help give you a better understanding of the issue:
Woodland Road Analysis by Cynthia Pryor
Woodland Road Comments by David Allen
Part 632 (HAUL ROADS) by Cynthia Pryor
Public Written Comment can be sent to the DNRE until the 20th of February.
Please send to:
420 Fifth Street
Gwinn, MI 49841
Attn: Mike Smolinski
DNRE Meeting Overview
by: Cynthia Pryor
Well, the place was packed. There was a healthy mix of proponents and opponents and you never knew which way the tide was going to swing. The opponents to the road project were well informed and brought good comment to the hearing. (Of course!) Through the diversity of comment many of our issues were brought to the table. I was proud of the showing and maturity of the public comment given. Good work! The proponents were union bosses, business owners and citizens who would be looking for the jobs. The hearing official made it clear that they were looking for comment about the road – not about the mine jobs or side issues. We were all given three minutes and many of us were allowed a second chance at the podium as the evening went on. The public hearing lasted past 9:30 and it was efficiently run by the MDNRE.
The psychological win for me was near the close of the hearing when a man in his 30’s stood up and talked about how he was a multi-generational Yooper, mining was his heritage and he owned a business with 35 workers and they needed jobs and everyone was going O.K. yada, yada and he closed his statement with: And we want Rio Tinto out of here – they will destroy this place! Wow! the crowd was stunned and broke into huge applause and roars of approval. It was great.
Mike Smolinski is the MDNRE wetlands permitting agent and will be the decision maker. We have until the 20th of February to make public comment. There is no time line associated with the decision. I encourage you all to send in multiple entries bringing up as many of the REASONS TO DENY this permit as you can. DO send copies of your comments to the Governor and Rebecca Humphries. DO call the Governor’s hot line. DO take the opportunity to let your voice be heard. We need to win this one.
Solid factual data is the key. Focus on the fact that they do have alternative routes. Focus on the number of wetlands that will be disrupted. Focus on the wildlife issues. Focus on the fact the this is a Kennecott road that will be used to connect the Eagle Mine with the Humboldt Processing facility and as such requires legal approval of an amendment to their Part 632 Mining permit Then DEQ Director Jim Sygo made it clear that Kennecott needed to file an amendment – if they were to construct and use any other road to haul ore – than the one they indicated in their permit (AAA, 510/550). This wetlands permitting process BEFORE they have filed a Part 632 Amendment is nothing more than Kennnecott’s effort to bypass the legal law of the land of the state of Michigan.
My personal thanks to all who attended. Thanks so much for evening out the odds!
Keep it going . .