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E-M:/ more on / DEQ & DNR Comment Process for proposed Kennecott Eagle Project

Dear Michigan,

Please note that MDEQ can accept ONLY written comments on the Kennecott Eagle Project, or actual live testimony at the public hearings scheduled in Marquette.  No formal comments may be submitted via any telephone calls to any DEQ staff – if you want them to consider your remarks and input, you need to write it down and send it in, in the methods described below (in bold-face type), or show up to testify at the hearing.  Sorry for any confusion, and thanks for your help in this. 



From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Rita Jack
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 3:58 PM
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: E-M:/ DEQ & DNR Comment Process for proposed Kennecott Eagle Project




Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources

Public Comment Process for the Proposed Kennecott Eagle Project

The Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company (Kennecott) is proposing an underground nickel and copper ore mine and an aboveground ore crushing facility in Michigamme Township, Marquette County, Michigan. The proposed location is approximately 30 miles northwest of Marquette, near the Salmon Trout River.

Proposed Actions

There are five actions currently under consideration by the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Natural Resources (DNR). Approval of all five actions is necessary for the facility to begin operation. Below is a brief summary of each action:

1. DEQ Air Use Permit – The DEQ rules require a permit for new sources of air emissions. The proposed underground mine, associated aboveground crushing facility, and equipment used to backfill the mine must meet state and federal air quality requirements. The draft permit conditions include emission restrictions and operational requirements.


2. DEQ Groundwater Discharge Permit – The DEQ rules require a discharge permit. Wastewater from the mining operations, including mine dewatering water, contact storm water from the main operations area, water from the temporary development rock storage area, and truck wash and crusher operations must be treated to meet limits based upon groundwater and/or surface water concerns. The draft permit specifies effluent and groundwater limitations.


3. DEQ Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining Permit – The DEQ rules require a permit for mining. The permit must have an environmental impact assessment, a mining, reclamation, and environmental protection plan, a contingency plan, financial assurance, and a list of other state and federal permits that are anticipated to be required. The draft permit specifies conditions to assure the mining process would strictly comport with the mining rules.


4. DNR Surface Use Lease for Metallic Mineral Mining Facility – The DNR is reviewing Kennecott’s request for a metallic mineral mining surface facility. If approved, the DNR will provide for the long-term use of State land through a surface use lease. The lease would contain conditions that allow the DNR to retain control over the activities that occur on the leased land.  


5. DNR Metallic Mineral Lease – The proposed mine occupies parts of two State of Michigan Metallic Mineral Leases. Kennecott is required to submit a Mining and Reclamation Plan for approval prior to the start of any mining activities. The Mining Plan includes maps of the mine area, the proposed method of mining, identification of lands that will be used for storing ore, shipping facilities, buildings, and a proposed timetable for construction. The Reclamation Plan identifies the methods for abandoning the mine and restoring the surface of the site when the operations end. The DNR is reviewing the proposed Mining and Reclamation Plan.


Public Participation

The DEQ and DNR are seeking the public’s input on their proposed actions. Rather than requiring the citizens to provide their comments during five separate public comment periods and public hearings, the DEQ and DNR have elected to hold one consolidated public comment period and a three day hearing for the five actions. The 60-day public comment period will extend to 5:00 pm, Thursday, April 5, 2007. The public hearing will be held on three consecutive dates, March 6, 7, and 8, 2007 in the Don H. Bottum University Center, 2nd Floor, Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, Michigan. The hearing will be held each day from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm and again from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Additional information about the public hearing format is provided below.


DEQ and DNR Public Comment Process for the Proposed Kennecott Eagle Project February 2, 2007 Page 2

During the comment period and hearing, all interested parties are encouraged to present their views on any or all of the proposed actions. There are four methods for a person or organization to provide their input on the proposals:

1. E-mail comments to Mr. Steven E. Wilson, of the DEQ’s Office of Geological Survey at wilsonse@michigan.gov . Please include “Kennecott Eagle Project comments” on the subject line of the email;

2. Mail comments to Mr. Steven E. Wilson, Kennecott Eagle Project, Office of Geological Survey, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7756;

3. Provide your written comments at the Public Hearing; and/or

4. Speak during the Public Hearing.


All written comments should indicate the action(s) of concern. The comments received will be distributed to the DEQ and DNR staff reviewing Kennecott’s proposal. All comments received by April 5, 2007, will be considered by the Departments’ designated decision-makers prior to final action.

Public Hearing

The public hearing is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to provide oral testimony before the DEQ and DNR on the proposed mine. As people enter the hearing location, they will be encouraged to complete an attendance card. These attendance cards have two purposes, to identify individuals who wish to speak during the hearing as well as to establish a mailing list for later mailings regarding the proposed facility. Those wishing to speak during the hearing should complete a colored attendance card while those not wishing to speak should complete a white attendance card. This will allow the DEQ and DNR to quickly identify the cards of those wishing to provide testimony. A person can complete a colored attendance card at any time during the hearing. Also, a person is not required to speak if they have completed a colored attendance card. Thus, it is ok for a person to change their mind about speaking or not speaking. Everyone completing an attendance card will be included on the mailing list.

Throughout the hearing hours, technical staff of the DEQ and DNR will be available in the area outside the hearing room to answer questions regarding the Departments’ reviews and proposed actions. There will not be any formal presentations. Additional copies of the staff analyses and documents will be available.

Inside the hearing room, seated at a table at the front will be the Hearing Officer and the DEQ and DNR decision-makers or representatives. There will be a microphone and podium facing the table at the front of the seating area. This microphone is used by the public to provide their testimony. Seated at the side of the room, a court reporter will be recording the testimony of the people speaking. The hearing is for testimony only. Questions regarding the proposed project will not be answered in the hearing room.

At the beginning of the public hearing, the Hearing Officer will read a brief statement on the purpose of the hearing and the procedures that will be followed during the hearing. Using the submitted colored attendance cards, the Hearing Officer will then begin calling people to testify at the microphone. Because it is expected that many people will want to speak, testimony will be limited to 5 minutes. A speaker may indicate that they wish to testify again and their attendance card will be placed in line behind those who have not yet spoken. There is no limit to the number of times a person can speak.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Steven E. Wilson of the DEQ’s Office of Geological Survey at 517-241-1542.