Though it is deemed one of the most serious threats to water quality by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) continues to consider a metallic sulfide mine proposal in the Yellow Dog Plains near Marquette, Michigan. The mine, called the Eagle Project, would be blasted underneath the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River, which flows into Lake Superior.
Acid mine drainage from sulfide mining has already polluted more than 12,000 miles of rivers and streams and over 180,000 acres of lakes and impoundments in the U.S. There has never been a metallic sulfide mine in a water-rich area that did not pollute its watershed. 1 And acid mine drainage often continues years after the mining is complete – acid mine drainage still seeps from mines worked by Romans prior to A.D. 476!
Ninety percent of the closest township residents oppose the mine – over 5,000 Marquette residents signed petitions in opposition. The MDEQ’s own consultants found significant aspects of the proposal “faulty and unfounded”. Even so, and despite that fact that MDEQ had not received or reviewed all the input from the ongoing public comment period, the MDEQ made the “draft” decision to approve a series of permits to the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company for its “Eagle Project”.
MDEQ needs to know the outrage over their taking such a premature position against our Great Lakes way of life. Voices are needed from throughout the Great Lakes! To speak out for the Yellow Dog Plains and pristine waterways, write or email the MDEQ and insist they act responsibly by denying Kennecott’s proposal. In addition to your personal comments, you can cite the following reasons:
Send comments by October 17 to DEQ/DNR
Kennecott Comments, Office of Geological Survey,
P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7756,
Many thanks to the dedicated people and organizations, including Yellow DogWatershed Preserve and Save the Wild UP, who continue to work hard on saving one of the last wild places in the Midwest.
(1) Kuipers & Associates and Buka Environmental. 2006. Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines. www.mine-aid.org/.