New Open Pit Sulfide Mine Threatens Michigan’s Menominee River

New Open Pit Sulfide Mine Threatens Michigan’s Menominee River

FWF_July2016 PROOF_Small_Page_2_Image_0001The Aquila project proposes to open a massive open pit sulfide mine on the bank of the Menominee River in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Toxic metals in acid mine drainage from this form of mining have polluted waters everywhere that sulfide-ore mining has been done in wet environments, like in Michigan and around the Great Lakes region.

When the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently release the Aquila permit application for a 30-day public comment period, we were shocked to learn that the application was over 37,500 pages! Such an enormous application and short window to engage in the public comment period made it impossible for community members and groups to meaningfully participate. This is where Freshwater Future stepped in to help.

Freshwater Future provided funding to a local group, Save the Wild UP, to contract with an expert to conduct a technical review of the application. Freshwater Future worked with Save the Wild UP to ensure other groups and community members who care about these issues
in the UP had access to the technical review for their outreach and comments. Without this review, informed comments by community based groups and community members would likely not have been possible due to the size of the application.

Freshwater Future is committed to helping community based group like Save the Wild UP when issues such as these emerge.

 

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