Powell Township is asking Rio Tinto to set aside public relations gimmicks and focus on objective, third-party air monitoring for the Eagle mine and future projects affecting their township and the surrounding region.
According to a June 3 editorial by Gene Champagne, member of Concerned Citizens of Big Bay, the Powell Township Board has unanimously endorsed a resolution focusing on these key points:
- It asks the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and/or the federal Environmental Protection Agency to develop an air quality monitoring program in our region.
- Asks that air monitors be installed at present and future mine sites, within the community of Big Bay, and at any other sites within Powell Township these agencies deem appropriate.
- Asks the DEQ/EPA to designate air quality scientists to monitor and maintain this air quality program
- Asks that the mining company covers all costs for the implementation and on-going support for this program.
- Asks that all data and information be available for citizen review.
Their actions are based on Rio Tinto’s plans to remove the filter from their air vent stack which is to be located between the Triple A Road and the Salmon Trout River, and citizen observations of fumes currently emanating from the mine site.
According to Champagne:
Kennecott has been discharging unfiltered air from the portal to the tunnel being excavated at the Eagle Mine. I have stood on AAA Road near the portal and have become nauseated by the diesel fumes on some days.
In a May 6 Mining Journal guest editorial, former DEQ employee and current Eagle Mine environmental engineer and permitting manager, Kristen Mariuzza,* says that “emissions from our mine ventilation system will be equivalent to about 15 home wood burners.” She borrowed this statement from Tom Albanese, CEO of Rio Tinto, who tried to dismiss concerns from Big Bay residents by comparing mine exhaust to wood smoke.
As Champagne says, “This sort of blame the victim public relations should not be tolerated in Michigan.”
To read the complete editorial, please click here: http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/576465/Science–public-relations-are-two-different-things.html?nav=5003
*Please refer to Jeffery Loman’s LTE regarding conflict of interest: http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/576406/Trust-is-lacking.html?nav=5067