For Immediate Release
June 22, 2006
Contact: Michelle Halley
National Wildlife Federation: 906-361-0520
Hugh McDiarmid Jr.
Deficiencies Illustrate Danger to Health, Resources of
Judge cites problems, State Regulators Find 91 Shortcomings with Kennecott’s Risky Gamble
An international mining company’s risky plan to extract nickel,
along with hundreds of thousands of tons of acid-leaching waste, from
underneath a pristine
In a separate blow to Kennecott Minerals’ credibility, state regulators this week identified 91 instances of technical deficiencies or insufficient data with the company’s plans.
“The state’s findings and the court’s ruling support
our position that this application has too many unanswered questions, and the
risks are too high,” said Brad Garmon of the Michigan Environmental
Council. “The State of
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality experts cited 91 problems with the Kennecott application, including concerns about the integrity of liners designed to prevent acid from leaking into waterways and questions about how the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler would be protected.
“The DEQ’s outline of the application’s shortcomings
and deficiencies sends a clear message that this mine can not operate safely
and without undue risk to the environment,” said Marvin Roberson of the
Sierra Club. “The sulfide mining proposed by Kennecott is a type of
mining never done before in
Future-focused economic development is the key to a vital
Michelle Halley, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation, applauded Thursday’s ruling from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula J.M. Manderfield, and said the state needs to be more rigorous in protecting the U.P.’s assets from Kennecott.
“This ruling indicates that the DEQ needs to increase the level of scrutiny and hold Kennecott accountable for the shortcomings. A plan with such potentially devastating consequences must be able to answer tough questions about every aspect of its operation. So far they haven’t been able to.”
Hugh McDiarmid Jr.