Aquila Mine Comment Opportunity

Posted on October 5, 2016 by
Across the country sulfide mining has been polluting surface and/or groundwater with acid mine drainage, sulfuric acid and/or toxic metals.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is poised to approve a massive, 83 acre, open pit sulfide mine, with on-site processing and tailings, all within 150 feet of the biggest river system in the Upper Peninsula, the Menominee River.

If there is any hope of stopping this terrible project it’s going to take YOU and many others communicating why this is a horrible to decision makers. According to a technical review by the Center for Science and Public Participation, here are just a few reasons why:

  • The risk of acid drainage is very high.  Most of the material in the targeted area contains sulfides, which can result in acid running into our waters. Acid mine drainage that is harmful to people and wildlife. Fish, plants, and insects are unlikely to survive in acid streams. Acid mine drainage can be 20 to 300 times more acidic than acid rain and can burn human skin and kill fish and aquatic organisms.
  • Lack of a complete wastewater treatment plan.  It’s ridiculous the DEQ is even considering granting a permit while details of a wastewater treatment system are not yet complete. However, they are moving forward even though sulfide mining has a near-perfect record of pollution.  Mining companies are unable to point to a sulfide mine that has ever been developed, operated and closed without producing polluted drainage from its operations.
  • Financial assurance has been significantly underestimated. The US Forest Service recommends bonds are secured for costs at a minimum of 39%, ranging up to 128% of the direct costs of reclamation and closure.  The amount proposed by the mining company, Aquila, is an astoundingly inadequate 10%.

The DEQ is accepting comments until November 3rd and we made it easy for you to send comments by clicking here!  And please help spread the work and encourage others to make comments too!

Thank you for being part of this effort!


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.