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. Continue reading
A series of letters recently published in the Marquette Mining Journal reflects ongoing and insistent objections to Rio Tinto’s activities in the Upper Peninsula, particularly with regard to the not-yet operational Eagle Mine Project.
Big Bay resident Carla Champagne wrote of a trip to London to address the Rio Tinto shareholders meeting and network with activists and government leaders. ”All of them were well aware of Rio Tinto’s legacy of human and workers’ rights abuses, environmental degradation and disregard for the law,” Champagne said.
Residents of Big Bay, and environmental groups including the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and Concerned Citizens of Big Bay, are seeking additional monitoring of both air and water quality near the Eagle site. Hydrological studies conducted prior to the permitting of the Eagle mine are said to have been inadequate and incomplete. Concerns about air quality have arisen recently due to Rio Tinto’s plans to remove the filter from the exhaust stack situated near the Salmon Trout River.
Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy have announced a coordinated effort to raise public awareness about the risks of mining in sulfide ore bodies.
These risks are especially great when the proposed projects are in water-rich areas, such as the Great Lakes Basin, but it is a world-wide problem. A 2010 BusinessReport article identified acid mine drainage (AMD) as the single biggest threat to South Africa’s environment, affecting food supplies and the economy. And according to ContinuityCentral, The international business continuity information portal, the United Nations has stated that AMD is “the second biggest environmental threat facing the world, with only global climate change being more significant.” Continue reading
The Huron Mountain Club has asked a federal judge to grant a preliminary injunction to halt work at the Eagle Mine project on the Yellow Dog Plains, citing numerous regulatory failures by the Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. A hearing will be held in Grand Rapids on June 6.
For more information, please click here: http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/575588/Club-files-legal-challenge-against-Eagle-Mine-project.html?nav=5006
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa recently collaborated on a Statement of Information submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples documenting concerns about the activities of multinational mining corporations in Anishinabe territories. The Statement of Information is available here: http://www.badriver-nsn.gov/images/storie/docs/activities_anishinaabeg.pdf.
On May 2, members of the Bad River Band Council attended a consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur in Mission, South Dakota. Representatives from Keweenaw Bay Indian Community plan to attend another consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur later this month.
NWF continues to work nationally, including here in the Great Lakes region, to close Clean Water Act loopholes that are allowing millions of tons of mining waste to be deposited in our surface waters. Please sign on to the attached letter (addressed to EPA, ACE and CEQ) and send the message that Great Lakes citizens care.
The undersigned individuals and organizations are writing to urge you to close two loopholes in the Clean Water Act (CWA) that allow sulfide (hardrock) mines to discharge untreated tailings and other wastes directly into the nation’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
A mineral rush is underway across the upper Great Lakes region. The waters, forests, and wildlife of the Lake Superior basin share their homelands with deposits of copper, nickel, gold, uranium, and other metals. One mine is already under contruction less than eight miles from Lake Superior beneath one of its tributaries. A second new mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been permitted less than one mile from Lake Superior. A large sulfide mine is proposed a short distance from the renowned Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Exploration is spreading like wildfire, fueled by worldwide demand and increasing metals prices.
Please click here for the complete letter: Protect the Great Lakes from CWA loopholes & mining
Sign on by leaving your name and organization, city and state, in the comment section below. Thank you!
Piloted by Partners in Forestry Cooperative, a group of conservation interests has brought the Delich Land Exchange project on the Ottawa National Forest to US District court. The citizens as plaintiffs are represented by Marianne Dugan from Eugene, Oregon, an attorney specializing in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The Delich Exchange is slated to trade away wooded parcels within 10 miles of Watersmeet, Michigan, which are defined by features such as Wildcat Falls and old growth hemlock, hardwood and cedar, as well as unique geological features with rock outcrops and Scott and Howe creek. In return, the Ottawa gains a heavily cut-over parcel located south of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The appraised value on the Delich parcel to be acquired in the trade is $316,000, and the value of the public land to be traded is $290,000. The Forest Service will make the $26,000 difference in cash payment to Delich. Just the economic timber value alone of the currently-held public parcels exceeds the compensatory value the Forest Service will achieve.* Continue reading