News

Company Seeks Wetland Permit for Sulfide Mine on Menominee River

Posted on January 29, 2018 by

Scroll down for a sample message and the comment form link.


Aquila Resources is developing an open pit gold-zinc sulfide mine (named the Back Forty mine) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 150 ft from the Menominee River—the U.P.’s largest river and a tributary of Lake Michigan. To build the mine, Aquila is requesting a permit to destroy valuable wetlands. 

We’ve written extensively in the past about the dangers of sulfide mines. There isn’t a single one in existence that hasn’t released toxic acid pollution into nearby waters. In the U.S. alone, metallic sulfide mining has contaminated over 12,000 miles of rivers and streams with sulfuric acid, arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxic metals—threatening local water supplies and human health.

Local environmental groups Front 40 and Mining Action Group (MAG) of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, working alongside mining experts, have documented serious flaws in Aquila’s wetlands permit:

  • A new plan for that facility siting that wasn’t part of the approved mining permit and is now much larger with no description of the protections to be put in place
  • No consideration of the feasibility of moving the mill out of wetland areas
  • No consideration of avoiding stream and wetland impacts by moving the mine facilities upland to a dry site

Tell the DEQ not to permit the destruction of valuable wetlands on the Menominee River. Comments are due by February 2nd!

To comment, simply copy the below points and paste them into the DEQ’s comment page. The more you can add your own thoughts, the more impact comments will have!

Dear Ms. Wilson,

I am emailing to request you deny the wetlands permit for the Back Forty mine. The federal government has invested more than $41 million to clean up the lower sections of the Menominee River, and the activities associated with the Aquila mine proposal and wetlands permit would undo years of investment into restoring this river.

The wetlands permit application is inadequate and incomplete:

  • A new plan for that facility siting that wasn’t part of the approved mining permit and is now much larger with no description of the protections to be put in place
  • There is no consideration of the feasibility of moving the mill out of wetland areas and therefore no justification that this is a wetlands dependent project
  • No consideration of avoiding stream and wetland impacts by moving the mine facilities upland to a dry site, again, providing no justification that this is a wetlands dependent project

Thank you for your consideration,

@FreshwaterFutur

  • Pollution from CAFO animal waste contributes to toxic algae and threatens public health. Click the link to let… https://t.co/QzYkyx4iTt
  • Ohio to test 1500 municipalities for PFAS, but not moving forward drinking water standards for these toxic chemical… https://t.co/XhrOrAPo7R
  • Congress has an opportunity now to protect our kids from toxic chemicals, like #PFAS, that are linked to serious he… https://t.co/gvREXofLS2
  • Congress, protect families that live near military bases! Ban #PFAS and dangerous “forever chemicals” that threaten… https://t.co/NzWaysUPZt
  • Rebuilding Trust: Flint teens help their hometown recover from the water crisis #FlintWater https://t.co/phpzDPTKO3

© 2019 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

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