EPA notes CR 595 objections

Wetlands impact central to federal concerns

August 30, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN – Journal Staff Writer (jpepin@miningjournal.net) , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials from Chicago outlined their decision making process and explained the basis for their objections Tuesday to plans to build Marquette County Road 595. Continue reading

CR 595 debated at forum

August 29, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN – Journal Staff Writer (jpepin@miningjournal.net) , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE – Roughly 100 people testified Tuesday at a packed public hearing at Northern Michigan University on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s wetlands and alternatives objections to Marquette County Road 595. Continue reading

Company is liable

August 20, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

The decision on Rio Tinto’s haul route is down to the wire and residents of Marquette County are stuck with a list of dismal options that include creating Marquette County Road 595 through a wilderness area, sending massive ore trucks down County Road 550 and through Marquette, and establishing a haul route on County Road 510 that would endanger residents and wildlife. Continue reading

EPA Public Hearing on Wetland Fill Permit Application for County Road 595 in Marquette, Michigan


CHICAGO (July 30, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing on August 28th to take comments on the Marquette County Road Commission’s application for a wetland fill permit for the construction of County Road 595. EPA scheduled the hearing at the request of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The Road Commission has proposed a new 21.5-mile primary county road, running north-south between U.S. Highway 41 and County Road Triple A, through Champion, Ely, Humboldt and Michigamme Townships. According to the application, construction would affect 25.81 acres of wetlands and would require the building of 22 stream crossings.

MDEQ has the authority to issue permits for projects under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for wetlands, lakes and streams. EPA’s role is to ensure that proposed projects comply with federal guidelines. At the hearing, EPA will take comments on two issues: (1) whether there are practical, alternate routes for the road which would have less impact on aquatic resources; and (2) proposals to mitigate damage to wetlands and streams.

Oral and written comments will be taken at the public hearing. EPA will hold an informational question-and-answer session immediately before the public hearing — at 6 p.m. on Aug. 28. The public hearing begins at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Northern Michigan University, Don H. Bottums University Center, Ontario/Michigan/Huron Rooms, 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette.

The public comment period started on July 27 and concludes on Sept. 4, 2012. Comments should be addressed to Melanie Haveman, U.S. EPA (WW-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590 or r5_cr595_comments@epa.gov. For questions or additional information, call EPA toll-free at 800-621-8431, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,week days. Related documents and information about the public hearing are available on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/region5/water/cr595.

The official records are also available at the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library, 317 N. Main St., Ishpeming.

Contact Information: Anne Rowan, 312-353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov; Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov; Brad Wurfel, 517-241-7395, wurfelb@michigan.gov


Court Rules Flambeau ‘Model Mine’ Violated Clean Water Act

Court Rules Flambeau ‘Model Mine’ Violated Clean Water Act

The Flambeau Mine near Ladysmith, WI has a long history of controversy due, in part, to the proximity of the mine to the Flambeau River. This photo was taken in September 1994, when heavy rains   caused flooding at the mine site.


State Officials Urged to ‘Learn from Flambeau’ and Stop Proposed Mega-Mines in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan

A federal court ruled yesterday that Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) violated the Clean Water Act on numerous occasions by allowing pollution from its Flambeau Mine site, near Ladysmith, Wis., to enter the Flambeau River and a nearby tributary known as Stream C.

The lawsuit was filed early last year by the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC), the Center for Biological Diversity, and Laura Gauger. The complaint charged that Flambeau Mining Company (a subsidiary of Kennecott Minerals Company / Rio Tinto) was violating the Clean Water Act by discharging stormwater runoff containing pollutants, including toxic metals like copper and zinc, from a detention basin known as a biofilter. Continue reading

Supports monitoring

June 5, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

I am in full agreement with the requests for accurate and independent measurement of air (and water) quality at and around the Eagle projects, including air discharged from the mine.

We know full well that selective sampling can produce inaccurate assessments and wish to preclude that possibility. However, I would like to remind Yoopers that the M departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources and the federal EPA are all employed and paid to do those things already. Therefore they must do them, and do them properly or resign their positions and return their salaries and benefits with interest.

There is reason to expect them to choose the latter course of action, since they have not routinely conducted independent sampling and verification of data supplied by KEMC, the regulated business. It behooves them, therefore, to begin to perform those duties immediately and to report the results to the public immediately, in accordance with their stated mission. There is no need to demur or debate. Monday next would be a good time to start, at the portal, when the blast products reach surface.

For demonstrations of effectiveness, as required by Part 632, they could hook up a dozen wood-burning furnaces to a single piped exhaust and sample that too, and simply vent the mine air into the sdministration building, with the media in attendance. Thank you.

Jack Parker, mining engineer