Eagle Mine Wants Minerals Under Yellow Dog Headwaters!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president, president@savethewildup.org
Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP executive director, grassroots@savethewildup.org (906) 662-9987

Eagle Mine Wants Mineral Lease Under Yellow Dog Headwaters!

MARQUETTE – The Eagle Mine LLC, owned by multinational conglomerate Lundin Mining, is seeking a new mineral lease from the State of Michigan for 40 acres of land (NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 8, T50N, R29W, Michigamme Township, Marquette County). The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) announcement of Lundin’s mineral rights lease application was published on Sunday July 26th, 2015, commencing a legally-required 30-day public comment period.

The targeted land lies three miles west of Eagle Mine’s orebody, and south of the Triple A road. Ecologically, the land ranges from from jack pine and blueberry bushes to inundated wetlands known as the Andersen Creek swamp, critical headwaters of the Yellow Dog River. The DNR lease review acknowledges the Headwaters of the Yellow Dog (Andersen Creek) and noted the possible presence of endangered species and a special conservation area. DNR Fisheries staff recommended “Stipulation 15” be included, minimizing surface disruption. The lead agency reviewer removed Stipulation 15, which would require proper drilling and exploration protocol be followed and approved by the lessor (the state). Multiple reviewers noted the presence of Headwaters, but recommended a “development with restrictions” classification.

“This land is part of a sensitive wetlands complex of more than a thousand acres. Headwaters are where rivers are born! Headwaters are simply not compatible with sulfide mining,” said Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president.

screenshot_MDEQ_NationalWetlandsInventory

Screenshot: Yellow Dog Headwaters, area of proposed mineral lease.
Source: MDEQ, National Wetlands Inventory data.

“Why does the State bother to write a land management plan for this section of the Escanaba River State Forest? Michigan regulators obviously believe that mining exploration is always the most desirable land use — in every situation, no matter how it undermines or jeopardizes our public land, water, forestry, wildlife and fisheries! What is the purpose of a public comment period, if no one at the DNR listens to public comments?” asks Gail Griffith, emeritus professor of Chemistry at Northern Michigan University and SWUP board member.

In 2014, Eagle Mine made a similar request, seeking mineral rights to a parcel of public land along the Yellow Dog River. Together, Save the Wild U.P., Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters called on the State of Michigan to hold a Public Hearing on the proposed lease. The groups asked the DNR to deny Eagle Mine’s mineral lease request, stating, “Metallic mineral lease of this land would serve only the short-term goals of Industry (…) once again, the State of Michigan seems wholly incapable of serving the public trust.” In response, the DNR sent out form letters, and approved the lease without notifying the organizations or individuals who requested a hearing.

“It’s outrageous but true: Part 632 doesn’t restrict one square inch of Upper Michigan from sulfide mining and mineral exploration — including your backyard garden, the headwaters of rivers, or the park where your children play,” says Jeffery Loman, former federal oil regulator.

In 2006, the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) published the Salmon Trout River Watershed Management Plan which included the recommendation to “prohibit sulfide-based mining” (Page 41). “Since the Salmon Trout River and Yellow Dog River are both high quality systems and share a common watershed boundary the SWP recommendation to prohibit sulfide-based mining would hold true for both watersheds,” explained Carl Lindquist, executive director of SWP. “The potential impacts to groundwater, surface water and Lake Superior are simply too great.”

“When will Michigan realize that public lands belong to the public, not private corporations? Leasing this parcel would simply reinforce the perception that the DNR is acting as a land broker for Eagle Mine,” said Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP executive director. “It is 1.5 miles from the McCormick Tract Wilderness and the Yellow Dog Wild and Scenic National River, and surrounded by historic sites like the Nels Andersen homestead, the Bentley Trail, and the Bushy Camp. Eagle Mine is targeting our communal history.”

“It’s no surprise that Lundin is seeking to lease more minerals,” says attorney Michelle Halley. “Save the Wild U.P., the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, and others have known that Eagle Mine is just the beginning of a regional mining development strategy. In the long term, the public will pay a high price for mining projects performed with inadequate permitting, monitoring and enforcement.”

“When Eagle Mine’s drill rigs go after new sites, they call it ‘progress.’ I call it Stage 4. When a cancer patient develops a malignant growth some distance from the primary tumor, we say the cancer is spreading, or metastasizing. It’s bad news, with a poor prognosis for the environment.” says Chip Truscon, SWUP board member.

Dave Allen, board member of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, expressed concerns about the pristine habitat found on these 40 acres. “We at UPEC are against this new mineral lease. The parcel contains Andersen’s Creek, headwaters of the Yellow Dog River, a rather precious stream and prime brook trout habitat, very rich in good macroinvertebrates — benthic bugs like caddis, flies, mayflies and others — and clean water.”

“Much of this land is relatively undisturbed conifer swamp and pristine shrub-sedge meadow,” says botanist Steve Garske. “These headwaters flow into the Yellow Dog River. If Lundin can drill and potentially locate a sulfide mine here, they can do it anywhere. We need to tell the DNR that headwaters are too special to be mined.”

“We urge concerned citizens to tell the DNR to deny this mineral lease application, or hold a public hearing! This proposal won’t stand up to environmental scrutiny. Headwaters should not be mined,” said Maxwell. Public comment is due by August 26th, and can be submitted by email to: Karen Maidlow, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, at maidlowk@michigan.gov, or mailed directly to Karen Maidlow, Property Analyst, Minerals Management, DNR, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909.

Yellow Dog Headwaters - Anderson Creek Panorama

Yellow Dog Headwaters, Anderson Creek Panorama. Photo by Steve Garske, 7-31-2015.

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or on Twitter @savethewildup.

Editors: the following maps are available for use with this press release:

Screenshot: Yellow Dog Headwater area of proposed mineral lease. (MDEQ, National Wetlands Inventory data).
Screenshot map link: http://bit.ly/1DtmS1W
Source: http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/wetlands/

ArcGIS Map showing location of proposed mineral lease
http://arcg.is/1UqnIRl

ArcGIS Map (interactive map slideshow with detailed views)
http://arcg.is/1eTFFYo

Suggested caption:
Eagle Mine seeks minerals under Yellow Dog Headwaters. Eagle Mine LLC has applied to the State of Michigan to lease mineral rights under 40 acres of public land in the Escanaba River State Forest (NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 8, T50N, R29W, Michigamme Township, Marquette County). This land is part of an extensive Headwater wetlands complex spanning more than 1,000 acres (see National Wetlands Inventory map layers).

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Will NPDES Permit for Humboldt Mill Pollute Wetland Mitigation Bank?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Proposed NPDES Permit Raises Alarming Wetland Implications

MARQUETTE —Grassroots environmental group Save the Wild U.P., reviewing the most recent permit modification request from Eagle Mine, has uncovered several changes with alarming wetland implications.

Earlier this year, there was an exhaustive permit review process for a draft of the same NPDES permit, which authorizes Eagle Mine LLC – Humboldt Mill’s industrial wastewater discharges. At a well-attended Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) public hearing in January, concerned citizens raised serious and substantial objections concerning the addition of a second wastewater discharge point, “Outfall 002,” and expressed outrage over a new pipeline which pumps wastewater a half mile from the Humboldt tailings pit, to the edge of the Escanaba River. MDEQ approved the permit three months ago. On July 2, MDEQ announced it was proposing to the modify permit — again.

If approved, the newest permit modification will authorize the creation of “Outfall 003,” a third pipe from which the mill’s “treated and untreated” industrial wastewater discharges pour into the environment. According to a statement on the MDEQ website, the permit revision comes “in response to citizen concerns.”

“That’s ridiculous,” says Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president. “Citizens remain deeply critical of the MDEQ’s previous permitting decision, allowing degradation of the Middle Branch of the Escanaba River. We asked EPA Region 5 to veto that NPDES permit, in fact, because it was so deeply flawed. Now they’re already revising it. Adding a third discharge point does not address citizen concerns about environmental degradation. The pollution remains unchanged. MDEQ is supposed to be protecting the Middle Branch of the Escanaba River as a coldwater trout stream.”

The MDEQ’s public notice announcement states, “The only change to the permit is to add another outfall location, 530 feet west of their original outfall. Both outfalls discharge to the same wetland.”

The statement is misleadingly oversimplified. While Outfall 003 would be only 530 feet west of Outfall 001, the route taken by the wastewater will be strikingly different. “Wastewater discharged from Outfall 003 would enter the Middle Branch of the Escanaba River at a location at least a mile upstream from Outfall 001. In short, Eagle Mine’s total environmental footprint is expanding again,” says Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP’s interim director.

Humboldt-NPDES-outfalls-and-impacts-700px

1 = Outfall 001
2 = Outfall 002
3 = (proposed) Outfall 003
4 = Humboldt Wetland Mitigation Bank
5 = Humboldt Tailings Disposal Facility (pit)
(*) = asterisks indicate Middle Branch of the Escanaba River.
Note: according to the MDEQ’s Steve Casey, “the dominant flow path has historically been along US-41 to Wolf Lake Road” via culverts and ditches (red line), but recent culvert changes in this area have removed impediments to flow, enabling the proposed (pink) flow path.

“Calamitous violations of clean air and water catch our attention, but the more common damage wrought by a thousand small cuts becomes routine and acceptable. That’s the modern way of doing ourselves in: slowly, progressively, inattentively,” says Jon Saari, SWUP’s vice president.

The path of the wastewater raises the most troubling aspects of the proposed permit. The addition of Outfall 003 would divert a portion of the mill’s wastewater to a new location. It will be dumped into a poor-quality cattail wetland adjacent to the Humboldt Pit, a site already polluted by historic mine tailings discharge. From there, the wastewater will flow north, passing underneath US-41 through a culvert before entering the Humboldt Wetland Mitigation Bank property, en route to the Escanaba river.

“Wetland mitigation banks are supposed to replace functional wetlands destroyed by development. Owners of such banks are given credit for restoring functional wetlands.  I find it incredible that this mitigation bank will be allowed to receive wastewater from the Humboldt Mill,” says Gail Griffith, emeritus professor of Chemistry at Northern Michigan University and SWUP board member.

“This whole thing is highly unusual. I spoke to a staffer from Michigan’s Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, someone familiar with NPDES permitting requirements and regulations concerning wetlands preservation, and they could not think of another situation in which a wetland mitigation bank would be allowed to intentionally receive wastewater discharges from a mine’s tailings facility,” says Heideman.

The Humboldt Wetland Mitigation Bank, registered with the State of Michigan, and owned by local aggregate company A. Lindberg and Sons, has the stated goals of “Water Quality Improvement, Flood Storage, and Wildlife Habitat.”  “It seems like this permit modification is being done for the benefit of channeling Eagle Mine’s wastewater into Lindberg’s wetland mitigation bank. According to the permit files, Lindberg is also the contractor designing and constructing this outfall. Isn’t that a conflict of interest on several levels?” asks Maxwell.

“Obviously, we have real concerns about the current and future biological integrity of this wetland mitigation bank. Comparing the Eagle Mine’s water balance diagrams, it’s clear that the underlying hydrology was misinterpreted. Previously, this area received groundwater that escaped through the unconsolidated north wall of the Humboldt Pit. After Eagle Mine reinforced the pit wall with a bentonite dam, the hydrology changed. Now the wetland mitigation bank needs water, so Eagle is proposing to intentionally divert some industrial wastewater in their direction? The proposed discharge plan is illogical at best — illegal at worst,” says Heideman.

Under Michigan law, R 281.954, Rule 4, “(1) A mitigation bank is a site where wetlands are restored, created, or, in exceptional circumstances, preserved expressly for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation in advance of the unavoidable loss of wetlands authorized by the act. A mitigation bank shall be maintained in perpetuity. (2) The objective of mitigation banking is to provide for the replacement of chemical, physical, and biological wetland functions (….) Single function, low quality wetlands, such as wastewater ponds, will not qualify as mitigation sites.”

MDEQ, in issuing the current NPDES permit, granted Eagle Mine an exemption to the Clean Water Act’s critical antidegradation policy, based on the mine’s claim that water quality degradation in the Escanaba River watershed is necessary to accommodate “economic and social benefits” in the area — a claim debated by many local residents, environmentalists, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, which views degradation of the watershed as a threat to treaty-protected resources.

“Humboldt Mill’s NPDES permit authorizes discharges that will, in the short term, degrade water quality in the Escanaba watershed. But it would be manifestly unreasonable, and clearly contrary to Michigan law, for the MDEQ to allow these industrial wastewaters to enter a state-registered wetland mitigation bank,” says Marquette attorney Jana Mathieu.

“Mitigation banks are required to be protected from contaminants, reviewed for biological integrity, and maintained in perpetuity. Anything less would be contrary to the administrative code which governs wetland mitigation banking,” according to Heideman.

“I can’t believe the laws (regulating wetland mitigation banks) intended for the landowner to dig out sand and gravel for commercial sale, let the hole fill with water, including contaminated water seeping from an old tailings basin, and wastewater discharges from the processing of copper-nickel-sulfide ore at Humboldt Mill, let whatever aggressive, weedy invasive plants that are around move in, put up “no trespassing” signs and call it wetland mitigation. Is anybody monitoring this? Something’s gotta be wrong,” says Steve Garske, botanist and SWUP board member.

Save the Wild U.P. requested a site visit to review the Humboldt Wetland Mitigation Bank, but has received no response from the bank’s sponsor, A. Lindberg and Sons; MDEQ’s Water Resources Division declined to facilitate the site visit.

No public hearing has been scheduled. SWUP encourages concerned citizens to submit written comments, or request a public hearing for further review of this proposed permit modification and related environmental impacts. “Mine permitting keeps getting streamlined for the benefit of industry, while concerned citizens find the process time-consuming and opaque. Before the ink is dry on a permit, it is being revised, with additional loopholes and leniencies inserted. It is up to concerned citizens to follow every revision, ask questions, and loudly demand that due process be followed,” says Maxwell.

Public comment is due by August 3, 2015. Written comments should be submitted to the MDEQ’s Samuel Snow, by email: snows2@michigan.gov or by mail to: Samuel Snow, Permits Section, Water Resources Division, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909.

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org or follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

Editors: the following photos are available for use with this press release.

Aerial photograph showing the location of Humboldt Mill’s tailings pit, discharge points, and environmental footprint. Sizes available:  700 px wide or original, 4608 px wide.

Suggested Caption:
1 = Outfall 001; 2 = Outfall 002; 3 = (proposed) Outfall 003; 4 = Humboldt Wetland Mitigation Bank; 5 = Humboldt Tailings Disposal Facility (pit); (*) = asterisks indicate Middle Branch of the Escanaba River. Note: according to the MDEQ’s Steve Casey, “the dominant flow path has historically been along US-41 to Wolf Lake Road” via culverts and ditches (red line), but recent culvert changes in this area have removed impediments to flow, enabling the proposed (pink) flow path.

 

Native Plants and Creeping Industrialization — What’s at Stake?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Threatened! Native Plant Hike Offered in the Michigamme Highlands

MARQUETTE —Grassroots environmental group Save the Wild U.P. invites concerned citizens and native plant enthusiasts to join them for a rare on-the-ground event on Saturday August 1, in the unpaved heart of Marquette County. Participants will learn about threatened and endangered native plants, and their reliance upon clean water and wild places.

Native plants and creeping industrialization — what’s at stake? Search for the answers, and plants, on this unique botanical hike in the Michigamme Highlands, led by botanist Steve Garske, along with Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president, and Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP’s interim director.

Hikers will explore two remote sites threatened by the route of the twice-defeated but still controversial County Road 595: public land located near the Yellow Dog River floodplain, and wetlands of the Mulligan Creek, deep in the Michigamme Highlands.

“We’ll visit two key sites along the proposed mining haul road, traversing an amazing variety of natural habitats, from open rock outcrops and northern hardwood forest to upland white pine and cedar. We’ll see a stand of old-growth hemlock, red oak and white pine, jack pine plains identified as Kirtland’s warbler habitat, and riparian wetlands. This area is the heart of Michigan’s moose range,” says Garske. “Along with great views and surprising botanical diversity, we’ll get a taste of what the timber and mining industries are planning for this still-isolated and wild area.”

IMG_2828

Mulligan Creek, deep in the unpaved Michigamme Highlands.

At the Yellow Dog River site, the State recently leased the mineral rights to Eagle Mine. “Mining-related activity on this land poses a direct threat to the Yellow Dog River: land disturbance, groundwater impairment, surface water pollution, you name it. Given the river’s proximity, this land is absolutely too sensitive to allow mining development,” says Cynthia Pryor, watershed resident and dedicated environmental watchdog.

Both the Yellow Dog River site and the Mulligan Creek site would be directly impacted by the controversial 595 road project, which threatens to rip open the wild heart of Marquette County, pushing another paved ‘’county road project’ through 22 miles of remote wild lands, stream and river crossings, wetlands, wildlife corridors, etc. The Marquette County Road Commission’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was filed July 10th, 2015, based on the EPA’s decision to protect Marquette County’s vital watersheds and wetlands from destruction.

According to Heideman, “A majority of local residents have never visited this area, and may not appreciate the beauty of Marquette County’s interior. We need to share the beauty of our wildest places and fragile wetlands, frequented by moose and eagles and wolves — and threatened by incremental industrialism, resource extraction and reckless development. We invite folks to experience these ecosystems first-hand, and learn what could be lost if the CR-595 highway was ever allowed to go through,” says Heideman.

This unique event is jointly sponsored by Save the Wild U.P, Northwoods Native Plant Society and the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. The meetup site is Big Bay Outfitters, located at 308 Bensinger in Big Bay. Participants are urged to arrive early to carpool and consolidate vehicles; the group will leave Big Bay promptly at 12:30pm.

Note: the botanical hike will require some bushwhacking. Wear footwear suitable for wetlands, or pack extra socks and shoes. Pack plenty of water, bug dope, a bag lunch and snacks, and dress appropriately for a good long hike on a U.P. summer day. Optional: rain gear (depending on weather), camera, binoculars, hand lens, or field guides. Following the event, there will be an optional campfire on the Yellow Dog Plains — bring extra food (supper) if you plan to stay for the evening’s social hour.

To take part in this hike, contact rsvp@savethwildup.org, or call (906) 662-9987, or see the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/846059348799069/

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work atsavethewildup.org on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or on Twitter @savethewildup.

Threatened (legally protected) with a status of "imperiled" in Michigan.

Linear-leaf gentian is threatened (legally protected) with a status of “imperiled” in Michigan.

Big Holes in Mining Exploration Regulations?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Big Holes in Mining Exploration Regulations?

MARQUETTE — Lundin Mining, parent company of Eagle Mine, recently announced exploration results for the orebody known as “Eagle East,” which is located outside the current footprint of the mine and said to contain “high grade massive and semi-massive copper-nickel sulfide mineralization.” With the current Eagle orebody located just below the Salmon Trout River and “Eagle East” exploration approaching the Yellow Dog River, environmental groups are speaking out about renewed concerns regarding ground and surface water contamination, the creeping industrialization of the Yellow Dog Plains, undisclosed exploratory drilling, trash left by exploration contractors, and the threat posed by acid mine drainage (AMD).

AMD is a dangerous byproduct of sulfide mining. Sought-after minerals such as copper, nickel, lead, cobalt, silver and zinc are embedded in sulfides; the process of extraction brings the sulfide-rich rock into contact with air and water, resulting in sulfuric acid. AMD could devastate watersheds like the Salmon Trout or the Yellow Dog, as it has historically devastated watersheds in coal mining regions, and in hardrock mining districts throughout the Rocky Mountains.

In Michigan, mineral exploration is regulated under Part 625, which establishes the protocol for adherence to environmental protections during the exploration phase. According to the state’s “Typical Metallic Mining Exploration Flowchart,” much of the mineral exploration process occurs before any permits are required, allowing industry to perform much of the exploration process without regulatory or public scrutiny.

Companies currently conducting exploratory drilling on the Yellow Dog Plains do so with impunity. According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), “(E)xploration companies are extremely secretive about their projects. All information regarding exploration drilling is considered proprietary under Part 625.” According to the MDEQ, “Most metallic mineral exploration occurs in an area exempt from acquiring a Part 625 permit.”

The lack of oversight has real consequences. Following a phase of surface and seismic mineral exploration in 2014, performed by Lundin Mining contractors who pulled miles of geophysical survey cables through the landscape, piles of PVC pipes were left abandoned in forests, ravines, and swamps, a plague of plastic ribbons fluttered from trees, and ATV tracks cut through wetlands.. Members of the public – including adjacent landowners and and watersheds – learn of exploration drilling sites only when the drill rigs appear, bringing 24-hour drilling noise, or leaving behind pools of drilling fluid.

“Given the new Wild West mining camp vibe, who is monitoring the work of Lundin’s numerous contractors?” asked Alexandra Maxwell, Save the Wild U.P. interim director. “What enforcement tools are in place to guarantee adherence to environmental safeguards, as specified under Part 625? Is anyone really checking the situation on the ground? It appears that Lundin’s contractors don’t even pick up their trash when they finish a project.”

While Lundin is quick to promote the potential “Eagle East” discovery to its investors, they insist that it is too soon to consider any environmental concerns. Eagle Mine’s spokesman Dan Blondeau has stated, “We’re very early in the exploration stage for this area. It’s too early to tell if this will materialize into anything significant. It’s too early to talk mining or permitting.” According to the MDEQ’s mineral exploration flowchart, however, drilling is actually one of the final stages of exploration.

According to Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president, “Lundin’s new orebody appears to be comprised of copper-nickel-platinum-palladium, all wrapped in a matrix of massive hype. Investors, beware! No word on how much uranium-vanadium-arsenic this orebody will contain — but the Yellow Dog River will be directly threatened. This is nothing to celebrate.”

“If mined, this orebody puts Lundin in a position to contaminate the Yellow Dog River. Rio Tinto had made a big public relations effort to assure citizens that their mining was going to leave a small footprint and would NOT contaminate the Yellow Dog River watershed — just the Salmon Trout River. Now by “discovering” a so-called new deposit they are incrementally expanding their footprint and clearly violating their promises,” said Michael Loukinen, SWUP advisory board member, filmmaker, and retired professor of Sociology at Northern Michigan University. “I fear that this will not be the first discovery of new deposits but the beginning of a pattern of new environmental losses.”

“In 2004, the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve (YDWP), Concerned Citizens of Big Bay, all but one of the townships of Marquette County, and the Marquette County Commission petitioned the State of Michigan to require that a full Hydrologic Assessment of the Yellow Dog Plains be done, by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) — *before* any mining activities took place on the Plains. That did not happen,” said Cynthia Pryor,YDWP board member. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a third party hydrologic assessment of the Plains and the only party qualified to do an unbiased assessment is the USGS. They are already involved in surface water monitoring on the Plains, so let them do their job and give us, the people of the State of Michigan, the straight story about the cumulative impact of these sulfide metallic mines on the Yellow Dog Plains.”

Eagle East

Eagle Mine’s environmental impacts continue to expand. Aerial photograph taken on June 19, 2015 shows: 1. Salmon Trout River, Eagle orebody and Main Vent Air Raise, 2. Eagle Rock and mining portal tunnel, 3. Eagle Mine surface facility, and 4. new drilling rigs, logging and mineral exploration in what Lundin is calling the “Eagle East” area.

 

“This is by-the-book mining boom hype,” said Heideman. “Mining companies create a bunch of hullabaloo about their ‘discoveries’ years before a permit is negotiated, or a single dollar of ore is removed from the ground. Meanwhile, the mining company will be working hard to extract big dollars from investors — at the expense of the wild Upper Peninsula.”

“The mine’s industrial wastewater discharges at Eagle mine are presenting to the surface,” said Jeffery Loman, former federal oil regulator. “Soon there will be undisputed evidence that Lundin is violating the Clean Water Act. When people across the U.P. finally realize our water is at risk, Eagle East will go South.”

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org or follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

Editors: the following photos are available for use with this press release.

Aerial photograph showing Eagle East mineral exploration footprint
Sizes available: 1500 px wide or original, 4608 px wide
Suggested caption:  ”Eagle Mine’s environmental impacts continue to expand. Aerial photograph taken on June 19, 2015 shows: 1. Salmon Trout River, Eagle orebody and Main Vent Air Raise, 2. Eagle Rock and mining portal tunnel, 3. Eagle Mine surface facility, and 4. new drilling rigs, logging and mineral exploration in what Lundin is calling the “Eagle East” area.”

Trashing the Yellow Dog Plains

Eagle Mine TWIS blue styrofoam (windblown trash)
Lundin Mining exploration trash: PVC pipes (view 1)
Lundin Mining exploration trash: PVC pipes (view 2)
Lundin Mining exploration trash: PVC pipes (view 3)
Mining exploration trash left in ravines (view 4)
Mining exploration trash left in ravines (view 5)
Yellow Dog Plains: drilling oil in sand pit (Kennecott). Photo courtesy of Shawn Malone/ LakeSuperiorPhoto

 

EPA Dismisses Environmental Appeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA Dismisses Environmental Appeal

MARQUETTE — Grassroots environmental advocacy group Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) has received notice of the dismissal of their petition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). The group had appealed to the EAB after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) reissued a Groundwater Discharge Permit (GWDP) for Lundin’s Eagle Mine, and when EPA Region 5 failed to act to require a permit that would protect the Salmon Trout River.

In dismissing the group’s petition, the EAB stated, “The Board is a tribunal of limited jurisdiction” and “not the appropriate forum for considering the Region’s alleged failure to act.” The Board peremptorily dismissed SWUP’s petition “for lack of jurisdiction.” According to attorney Michelle Halley, SWUP advisory board member, “This case was dismissed because the EAB believed theirs was the wrong venue, not on the merits of the case.”

Save the Wild U.P.’s central arguments remain undisputed: a GWDP is the wrong regulatory permit for Eagle Mine’s wastewater discharges. In the appeal, SWUP stated, “Permit conditions set for effluent discharge fail to protect surface water.” By design, a groundwater discharge permit is not protective of surface water. Surface water standards are needed, in order keep macro-invertebrates and sensitive aquatic ecosystems safe from dangerous levels of metals, pH and salts.

SWUP’s petition requested “that the EPA require Eagle Mine to obtain a Clean Water Act permit… with limits sufficiently protective of the identified groundwater-surface water interface, including aquatic life, fish and wildlife dependent upon the health of freshwater springs, the Salmon Trout River, and Lake Superior.”

“It’s outrageous that the facts of our case were not considered. Had they reviewed the content of our arguments, the merits of our appeal would have certainly prevailed. For the health of the Salmon Trout River, this situation remains critical and urgent,” said Kathleen Heideman, Save the Wild U.P. president.

According to SWUP’s interim director, Alexandra Maxwell, “This dismissal only brings a sense of renewed determination. We have a strong case. We are acting to protect our communities and our water from the dangerous contamination created by sulfide mining. Save the Wild U.P. is considering all appellate options.”

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org or follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

Join SWUP’s Wild Summer Events!

Featured

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Save the Wild U.P. Announces Calendar of Wild Summer Events

Marquette — Grassroots environmental group Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) has announced a series of “wild events” for the coming summer. Save the Wild U.P.’s guided outdoor programs are perfect for nature-lovers, concerned citizens, history buffs, hikers, artists and budding environmental activists.

“These are awe-inspiring experiences, intended to lead folks off the beaten track, and out into the Wild U.P.,” said Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP’s interim director. “With each event, we’re highlighting the intrinsic value of wild and scenic places, clean rivers, and undisturbed wetlands. Folks can check Save the Wild U.P.’s facebook page to learn about about additional events, including summer speakers and concerts.”

Save the Wild U.P.’s 2015 Summer Events Calendar
Available in PDF format: http://bit.ly/1IQp2tz

2nd Annual Grassroots Organizing Bootcamp — Marquette
May 23 and May 24, 9:30am – 5:30pm each day
Become an environmental advocate for your community! This year’s 2-day Bootcamp agenda is packed with engaging information — 9 special guest speakers covering 13 critical topics, including wolves, local geology, the hydrology of the Salmon Trout watershed, indigenous environmental movements, and the regional fight to protect Lake Superior from the dangers of sulfide mining. Weekend wraps up with a guided geology hike around Presque Isle. Lunches are provided, but space is limited. ENLIST NOW: rsvp@savethewildup.org, or call (906) 662-9987.

Guided Hike in the Caving Grounds — Negaunee
May 28, 6pm
Join SWUP for a guided walking tour of the “Caving Grounds” of Negaunee’s Old Town district. Experience ghostly neighborhoods and sunken streets, learn about early iron mining methods, hear stories recorded by Negaunee residents, and see first-hand the social cost of mining: undermined homes and struggling economies. Meet at 6pm Old Town Park in Negaunee. RSVP appreciated: rsvp@savethewildup.org.

Guided Hike to Pinnacle Falls — Yellow Dog Plains
June 24, 12:30pm
Enjoy a guided hike to Pinnacle Falls on the Yellow Dog River, truly one of the wild gems of Marquette County. Your guides Cynthia Pryor and Kathleen Heideman will share stories of ecology, geology and local history. Learn how the Yellow Dog River was named, and threats from sulfide mining just upstream. Pack a bag lunch for a group picnic at the falls, bring bug spray or netting, hiking shoes and a camera. Meet at Big Bay Outfitters (Big Bay). Plan to arrive early — group will leave at 12:30pm. SAVE YOUR SPOT: rsvp@savethwildup.org, or call (906) 662-9987.

Attention ARTISTS and HIKERS!
Wildcat Canyon Creek Hike — Michigamme Highlands
July 15, full-day outing
Get off the map – start seeing wild places! Save the Wild U.P. and Painters on the Loose will guide a caravan of visual artists, hikers and environmental activists deep into the rugged, unpaved heart of Marquette County. Our special destination will be Wildcat Canyon Creek, which lies in the path of the defeated but still-controversial 595 road proposal. Artists will set up their easels, while others enjoy a rugged group hike along the Wildcat, which includes delicate waterfalls. To join this special event, please contact rsvp@savethewildup.org by July 12, so carpooling and caravan arrangements can be made in advance.

Threatened & Endangered: Native Plant Hike — Michigamme Highlands
August 1, 12:30pm
Native plants and creeping industrialization — what’s at stake? Search for the answers on this unique botanical hike in the Michigamme Highlands, led by botanist Steve Garske. We’ll explore two remote sites threatened by the route of proposed CR-595: lands near the Yellow Dog River and Mulligan Creek. Sponsored by the North Woods Native Plant Society, Save the Wild U.P. and the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. Meet-up at Big Bay Outfitters (Big Bay). Plan to arrive early — group will leave at 12:30pm. FULL DETAILS: rsvp@savethwildup.org, or call (906) 662-9987.

Explore Marquette’s lost “Great Swamp” — Marquette
August 22, 3pm
What happened to Marquette’s “Great Swamp”? Join historian Jon Saari for a slideshow explaining how the city’s historic wetlands were drained, filled and lost to residential and industrial development. After the lecture, we’ll follow Jim Koski and Jon Saari on a colorful walking tour to see evidence of the lost swamp! Sponsored by Save the Wild U.P. and the Marquette Regional History Center. Special location: event starts at 3pm in the Wildcat Room of the Superior Dome. RESERVE YOUR PLACE: rsvp@savethwildup.org, or call (906) 662-9987. Suggested donation of $5 for Marquette Regional History Center.

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Summer events are offered in conjunction with Save the Wild U.P.’s Summer Fellows program, a dynamic, on-the-ground initiative designed to educate a new generation of environmental leaders. SWUP’s unique, interdisciplinary fellowship  program educates students on U.P. mining history, the hazards and risks associated with sulfide mining, industrial threats to wild places, and practical and effective ways for citizens to “be the change” they wish to see in the world.

Save the Wild U.P.’s 2015 Summer Fellows program is focussed on critical issues related to the controversial County Road 595 proposal. The program begins with an intensive two-day forum on sulfide mining, geology, Upper Peninsula mining history, mining legislation, wolves, hydrology and environmental advocacy, and other topics. Throughout the summer, fellows will learn from experts in their fields, while advocating for environmental justice and transparency in corporate and government relations. Students participate in hikes, lectures and community education on the most pressing issues facing the Upper Peninsula’s wild places.

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org or follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

 

Environmental group asks EPA to review Eagle Mine permits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Save the Wild U.P. petitions EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board

MARQUETTE — Grassroots environmental group Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) recently petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), appealing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) reissuance of a Groundwater Discharge Permit (GWDP) for the Eagle Mine.

The Environmental Appeals Board is the final authority on appeals pertaining to all major environmental statutes which the EPA administers. It is an impartial body, independent of the EPA. According to Save the Wild U.P.’s interim director, Alexandra Maxwell,  “Our petition is on the EAB’s docket. While we don’t know what the outcome will be, we know, without a doubt, that we submitted an accurate, urgent, and thoughtful petition on behalf of our supporters — on behalf of the Lake Superior watershed. We’re very hopeful that the EAB will review the permit decision, and uphold the Clean Water Act.”

Save the Wild U.P.’s central argument in the petition explains that the GWDP is the wrong regulatory permit for Eagle Mine’s wastewater discharges. “Permit conditions set for effluent discharge fail to protect surface water. The Petitioner requests that the EPA require Eagle Mine to obtain a Clean Water Act permit or require EPA to do so, with limits sufficiently protective of the identified groundwater-surface water interface, including aquatic life, fish and wildlife dependant upon the health of freshwater springs, the Salmon Trout River, and Lake Superior.” By design, a groundwater discharge permit is not designed to be protective of surface water. Surface water standards were created to keep macroinvertebrates and sensitive aquatic ecosystems safe from dangerous levels of metals, pH and salts.

“A groundwater discharge permit is the wrong tool with which to regulate this discharge. It is undisputed that the water leaving the mine ultimately ends up in springs and rivers and Lake Superior. The permit needed is a Clean Water Act permit, designed to protect  aquatic life,” said attorney Michelle Halley, who has worked extensively on Eagle Mine issues.

After a comprehensive permit review, Save the Wild U.P. concluded that the current GWD permit was issued under “erroneous findings of fact and erroneous conclusions of law” and the group has appealed the MDEQ’s permitting decision, on behalf of their Board, Advisory Board and supporters.

“From the beginning, Eagle Mine’s Groundwater Discharge Permit was based on a false premise, the idea that groundwater does not become surface water. Eagle Mine has relied on half-truths and unknowns concerning the hydrology of the Yellow Dog Plains,” explains Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president. “Proper regulation cannot exist without accurate science and hands-on, comprehensive knowledge of the environment. We know what’s at stake — nothing less than our clean water.”

On May 7, 2015,  Save the Wild U.P. also sent a letter to the EPA’s Regional Administrator, Dr. Susan Hedman, asking that Region 5 exercise their veto authority over the National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems Permit (NPDES) recently reissued for Lundin’s Humboldt Mill facility. SWUP’s request enumerated critical concerns regarding the the NPDES permit, especially the authorization of a second discharge point, “Outfall 002”, which allows a “degradation” of water quality in the Middle Branch of the Escanaba River (MBER), and which was constructed without an Environmental Impact Assessment for the area where the discharges are being released.

“I find it outrageous that MDEQ and Eagle Mine failed to consider the environmental impacts of increased discharges authorized by this permit,” said Heideman. “No baseline information was provided, either for the wetland or the Middle Branch of the Escanaba River. Eagle Mine’s original permit failed to evaluate these sites, and now they want to dump wastewater into unassessed ecosystems.”

Save the Wild U.P.

Wastewater discharging into Middle Branch of the Escanaba River on 4-15-15

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.orgor follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

2015 SWUP Summer Fellows Program

Save the Wild U.P. is kicking off their 2nd annual SWUP Summer Fellows program! This is a dynamic boots-on-the-ground initiative, designed to educate the next generation of environmental leaders. SWUP’s unique, interdisciplinary program educates students on U.P. mining history, the hazards and risks associated with sulfide mining, industrial threats to wild places, and practical and effective ways for citizens to “be the change” they wish to see in the world. Fellows gain experience as participatory researchers and civically-involved community members. Academic credit and limited competitive stipends are available.

This year’s Fellows program will focus on critical issues related to the controversial County Road 595 proposal. We’ll begin with an intensive two-day forum on sulfide mining, geology, Upper Peninsula mining history, mining legislation, wolves, hydrology and environmental advocacy—just to name a few topics. Throughout the summer, fellows will learn from experts in their fields, while advocating for environmental justice and transparency in corporate and government relations. Students participate in hikes, lectures and community education on the most pressing issues facing the Upper Peninsula’s wild places. The SWUP Summer Fellows program runs from May 20th through the first week of August. We are looking forward to a great program and will keep you updated on associated lectures, public hikes and outings throughout the summer!

Environmentalists Outraged By New Mineral Lease To Eagle Mine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mineral Lease On Yellow Dog River Approved

MARQUETTE — Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) has learned that the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has granted another mineral lease to Eagle Mine, LLC — this time, for a controversial 40 acre parcel along the Yellow Dog River.

The DNR’s public notice of Eagle’s mineral rights lease application was published on October 20, 2014, commencing a legally-required public comment period. Save the Wild U.P. responded swiftly to the public notice, working collaboratively with the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve (YDWP) and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters to raise strong objections to the lease, in writing. Altogether, more than 1,400 letters, signatures and comments were submitted to Karen Maidlow, Property Analyst with the DNR’s Minerals Management office, urging the DNR to reject the mineral lease sought by Eagle Mine LLC.

The 40 acre parcel (NE 1/4 SE 1/4, Section 13, T50N, R29W, Michigamme Township, Marquette County) lies along a branch of the Yellow Dog River, which is a federally-designated “Wild and Scenic” River. According to monitoring data, the Yellow Dog River currently has “excellent” water quality. The property contains a recreational trail (Snowmobile Trail #5), endangered plants, and “neotropical migrants” including Kirtland’s warbler.

According to Chauncey Moran, YDWP chairman, “This land should have been classified as ‘non-leasable, non-development’ due to the substantial potential for ecological harm.”

“Clearly, the DNR made the wrong decision,” said Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP’s interim director. “Once again, the outcry of concerned citizens was all but ignored for the benefit of a foreign mining company. This is another blow to our public land and the democratic process.”

“The approval of a metallic mineral lease to Lundin Mining, virtually on the banks of the Yellow Dog River, denotes blatant disregard for the public’s love of this blue ribbon trout stream,” said Cynthia Pryor, watershed resident and longtime community advocate. “All who have fished it, recreated on it or have just heard about this beautiful river need to be affronted by the DNR’s lack of stewardship of this and all other rivers in this state already suffering at the hands of our state regulators. Pure Michigan indeed.”

“No mining, including exploration activities, should ever be permitted on this land. This is a very important area where medicinal plants are gathered by myself and other members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Elimination of this treaty right is unacceptable and unlawful,” said former federal offshore oil regulator and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community tribal member Jeffery Loman. “Despite the fact that Michigan’s Part 632 Mining Regulations are frequently touted as ‘the strictest mining regulations in the United States,’ it is a fact that every square inch of Michigan is open for mineral exploration and development. I repeat my request for the DNR to hold a public hearing to address this regulatory shortfall.”

“It is outrageous that the DNR did not contact us directly concerning their decision. Save the Wild U.P. called for a Public Hearing, but we received no answer – yes or no – to that very simple request,” said Kathleen Heideman, SWUP’s president. “Citizens who wrote heartfelt, open letters directly to Karen Maidlow all received the same form letter in response. Groups and individuals who know the land in question submitted detailed written comments, explaining why this specific mineral lease should not take place in this specific place. What is the point of a public comment period, if the DNR ignores all the public comments? They didn’t even pretend to listen this time.”

update-2015-Eagle20acres-DNRLease

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is dedicated to protecting our communities, lakes, and lands from the hazards of sulfide mining, which threaten to contaminate nearby watersheds – including Lake Superior – with acid mine drainage. SWUP continues to raise public awareness about mining exploration and development, regulatory errors and conflict of interest issues. More information is available at savethewildup.org or by calling (906) 662-9987.

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DEQ Issues Deeply Flawed Eagle Mine Groundwater Discharge Permit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Environmentalists Critical of “Deeply Flawed” Eagle Mine Groundwater Discharge Permit

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has issued a renewed Groundwater Discharge Permit for Eagle Mine, which expired in 2013. The new permit includes multiple revisions to the original permit, and significantly increases the total volume of wastewater discharges, to 504,000 gallons per day. According to grassroots environmental group Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP), the approved permit fails to address elevated levels of uranium and vanadium, and exceedances of copper, molybdenum, silver, lead, arsenic.

In 2014, Save the Wild U.P. led an extensive effort to educate citizens about serious deficiencies in Eagle Mine’s groundwater discharge permit. “It was frustrating, at that time, to see MDEQ regulators quoted in the newspaper, reassuring the public that this permit was sufficiently strong and protective, and didn’t need any revision,” said Kathleen Heideman, SWUP’s president. “Now the MDEQ is congratulating itself for issuing a revised permit.”

“We had a lot of good comments, and we made changes with regard to those comments — which took a long time,” Steve Casey, Michigan DEQ Water Resources Division Upper Peninsula District Supervisor told the audience at a public hearing held January 13, 2015. He referred to the increasing vanadium levels in Eagle Mine’s groundwater discharge area as an “unresolved issue.”

Three months later, Eagle’s vanadium problem remains unexplained but the permit has been granted.

“It is factually inaccurate to say that increasing levels of heavy metals and other pollutants reflects previous ‘natural’ conditions at the Eagle site,” said Heideman. “This permit has exponentially increased the allowable level of various pollutants, compared with Rio Tinto’s own 2004 reported baseline data. Clearly, water quality is undermined by this permit.”

The MDEQ claims that the permit will safeguard “all protected uses of groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the mine.”

“A groundwater discharge permit is the wrong tool with which to regulate this discharge. The water leaving the mine will ultimately end up in springs and rivers and Lake Superior. The permit needed is a Clean Water Act permit designed to protect the animals and plants living in the springs, rivers and Lake Superior,”  said attorney Michelle Halley, who has worked extensively on Eagle Mine issues. “MDEQ is making the same mistakes over and over.”

 The MDEQ made several changes adding “wastewater influent sampling prior to reverse osmosis” and “provisions for investigating and addressing elevated vanadium concentrations in groundwater, including the installation of additional groundwater monitoring wells.”

According to Alexandra Maxwell, Save the Wild U.P.’s interim director, the MDEQ’s revisions are inadequate. “This is a fancy way of saying, after a year of review, the MDEQ still has no idea why vanadium levels are rising in groundwater around Eagle Mine’s Treated Wastewater Infiltration System (TWIS) — and yet they’re issuing this permit. This really underscores a point we’ve been making all along: a federal permit should have been required for Eagle’s wastewater. The State of Michigan seems wholly unprepared to regulate Eagle Mine at a level that would actually protect our water.”

“Let’s be clear: vanadium levels are increasing in groundwater at Eagle Mine, and the MDEQ doesn’t know why. It was irresponsible to issue this permit,” said Heideman. “The whole approach seems to treat our environment like a chemistry laboratory — they’re running a live experiment, no safety net, and our water is at stake.”

According to December 2014 reporting from the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP), a joint venture of the Superior Watershed Partnership and Lundin Mining (previously Rio Tinto), uranium levels in water at the Eagle Mine facility have risen to 103 ug/L, more than 3 times higher than the EPA’s limit for drinking water. Since uranium monitoring was not included in Eagle Mine’s permit, the mine claims that no permit violation has occurred.

“Where uranium is concerned, this permit has no teeth,” said Heideman. “The MDEQ added language ‘requiring notification within 24 hours if uranium levels in the effluent exceed 5 ug/l’ and ‘a plan for reducing or eliminating the source of uranium’ but they’ve known about the presence of uranium for two years, and they haven’t required any meaningful response.”

In their response summary, MDEQ referenced 2006 hydrology groundwater flow diagrams, claiming that wastewater from Eagle Mine’s TWIS “will take… 4 to 6 years” to reach springs feeding the Salmon Trout River (3,000 feet away).

“Clearly, we need updated hydrology data to evaluate the groundwater impacts from Eagle Mine’s discharged wastewater. The revised permit calls for additional groundwater monitoring, but does not dictate where the wells will be located — that’s another mistake,” said Heideman. “We’ve repeatedly asked the MDEQ to require groundwater tracing tests, to confirm Eagle Mine’s hydrology theories, but there’s been no action.”

The MDEQ response summary included a reference to recent legislation amending Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), allowing significantly higher levels of sodium and chloride in groundwater, raising “effluent limits for sodium and chloride to 400 mg/l and 500 mg/l, respectively.”

“Reviewing CEMP data, we see a clear pattern of ongoing and unexplained exceedances,” said Maxwell. “State regulators are asleep at the wheel.”

“The MDEQ’s revised Groundwater Discharge Permit is inconsistent with federal law, fails to protect the Yellow Dog Watershed, and the process for issuing this revised permit violates both state and federal administrative procedures act requirements,” said former federal offshore oil regulator and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community tribal member Jeffery Loman. “Once again, the State of Michigan has demonstrated that they will regulate in a manner which the mining industry demands.”

meme-mine-marktwain

Founded in 2004, Save the Wild U.P. is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to preserving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s unique cultural and environmental resources. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact info@savethewildup.org or call (906) 662-9987. Get involved with SWUP’s work at savethewildup.org or follow SWUP on Facebook at facebook.com/savethewildup or Twitter @savethewildup.

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