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Re: E-M:/ Notice of Public Hearing (Empire Mine)

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from John Rebers ------------------------------------------------------------------------- At 01:27 PM 4/17/2000 -0400, Chris Fries wrote:

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m. at the Tilden Township Hall, 3145 CR PG, Ishpeming, MI to secure the views of interested persons concerning the application for permit by the Empire Mine.

The Empire Mine is seeking to expand an existing mine pit and stockpile area.  Three rock stockpile areas will be expanded under this permit proposal a total of 254.1 acres, and two pit areas will be developed and expanded.  A total of approximately 11,187 feet of new perimeter road will also be constructed within this proposal.  A total of approximately 87.3 acres of wetland area and approximately 8,288 lineal feet of streams will be impacted by this project.

and in a later message, Anne Woiwode wrote:
A total of approximately 87.3 acres of wetland area will be destroyed by
this project. The ratio for mitigation is proposed at only 1:1 right now,
well under norms for other wetland mitigation around Michigan. UPEC is
calling for a 1:2 replacment ratio, as well as an escrow fund to assure
the success of mitigation.

Another consideration is the type of mitigation that is carried out. At the hearing about the Tilden mine project that Dave Allen mentioned in his message, some of those speaking were of the opinion that the only kind of mitigation that would be acceptable would be construction of a new lake, with disparaging comments made about swamps. Although I like lakes too, and have cursed my share of winged critters rising out of swamps, the biological diversity of marshes and other non-lake wetlands is often much greater than that of an artificial lake. So, I would support the UPEC call for a 1:2 replacement ratio, but it would be nice to have someone with some wetlands expertise weigh in with suggestions on the kind of wetlands that could best offset the losses caused by the mine construction.

John Rebers (Marquette)

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