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E-M:/ KEMC YDP Mine Application Meetings 4/18 (long)



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Enviro-Mich message from David Allen <dallen@nmu.edu>
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(As you have perhaps noticed by Jerry Mohlman's participation and now
mine, we have run out of snow in the UP - our fingers have thawed out.)

Yesterday the DEQ conducted meetings with regards to the Kennecott Eagle
Mine Corporation (KEMC) permit application.  From my viewpoint the
meetings were successful.  About 80 - 100 attended the afternoon
meetings and about 40 spoke for three minutes.  Perhaps 200 attended the
evening meetings, 84 wanted to speak (for 1.5 minutes) and because
Northern Michigan University (NMU) closes the University Center at 10pm
about 20 did not have the opportunity to speak.

About eight or nine spoke in favor of the mine, but all but one made
their support contingent on doing the mining safely.  In other words,
almost everybody spoke in favor of the environment.

Many talked about preserving the wild character of the area, even though
this is perhaps not germane to the permit application.  Nevertheless,
my notes are scattered with LULU-Wild (Locally Unwanted Land Use - want
Wild country).

Many did address areas of concern in the application and / or the
Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA).  Areas of concern include:

- Inadequate information concerning transportation route(s)

- Lack of information concerning the impacts of the technologies that
  could be used
      Human health effects
      Environmental effects
      Lack of alternatives

- Lack of a full discussion of possible contingencies

- Lack of discussion and detail regarding contingency response planning

- Detail on monitoring is inadequate; number of monitoring wells inadequate

- Lack of demonstration that leaching can be prevented

- Liner system and leak detection system is inadequate

- Detail regarding possible subsidence is inadequate

- Financial assurance is likely to be very inadequate

- EIA is inadequate -
      "Do nothing" the only alternative
      Full range of possibilities not explored
      Full depth of ramifications not explores

An NMU student who had taken formal classwork in Environmental Impact
Statements thought that this EIA deserved a grade of F.

A couple of members of the Bad River Ojibwe spoke in the afternoon,
focusing on the duties of the DEQ to consider the treaties of 1842 and
1854 when making their deliberations.  This provided support for the
comments made in the evening by about 10 or 12 KBIC Ojibwe, including
Tribal Chair LaFreniere and former chair Dakota.  Most of their
comments were focusing on the weaknesses of the EIA, particularly in the
required socio-cultural issues.

Given what I thought were major inadequacies in the permit application
what happens if KEMC supplies more information?  Does the clock get
reset, with more hearings?  Or do we just try to aim at a moving target?

Even with the problem of time running out I thought it was a good
meeting.

Dave Allen




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