Hurley - Iron ore made this town, and many people believe an open-pit mine will help revive the fortunes of this once-bustling community.
“We need jobs now – not 10 years from now,” said hardware store owner Jack Giovanoni, who supports plans for a $1.5 billion mine 20 miles away.
But the project is emerging as a classic jobs-vs.-environment battle as opponents question how a large mine could influence another natural asset of the region – its water resources.
While the developer, Gogebic Taconite, hasn’t formally applied for a construction permit, the project is coming under fire from environmental groups and from a nearby Indian tribe.
The Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa voted to formally oppose the mine this spring.
And in a significant development, the tribe is poised to win new powers to govern water-quality standards that could affect the operations of the mine.
The tribe and the proposed mine are in the 1,000-square-mile Bad River watershed, a major tributary to Lake Superior.
The tribe, whose reservation is on the shore of Lake Superior, is close to receiving approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would allow it to set water standards on tribal properties.
This would enable the tribe to impose limitations on water users that operate upstream and outside the reservation, as well, state and federal officials said last week.
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For additional information on the Penokee project, please click here: http://www.savethewatersedge.com/penokee-hills-mining-update.html