This just in:
The comment period on the proposed lease is open through Aug. 20
Aquila Resources USA, Inc. has requested a metallic minerals lease from the state of Michigan. The 406.67 acres, more or less, are located within Lake Township in Menominee County.
Get more detailed information on the direct leasing process on the DNR website or email DNR-LeaseManagement@Michigan.gov (subject line should read: Aquila Resources USA, Inc.). We will accept comments through Sunday, Aug. 20.
Be sure to follow the email link above to respond to this!
What this is about:
Sadly, the proposed mineral leases are on state lands. The proposed lands are also in the vicinity of the Shakey Lakes County Park. The people of Menominee County continue to be overwhelmingly opposed to a metallic sulfide mine that would pollute any waterways, pose human health hazards from toxic metal contamination, and destroy the existing economy based upon tourism, recreation, and a world-class fishing habitat. Now, in addition, there will be more truck traffic and heavy equipment. You, the DNR state that you promote “the public enjoyment of this state’s wildlife and other natural resources by providing public access to lands under the control of the department for outdoor recreation activities dependent on natural resources…” (Section 324.504 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 451 of 1994).
If you were to grant this lease to Aquila/GORO, it would deprive the public of the clean air and water we rightly deserve. Metallic mining will release many pollutants into the air, waterways, and soil. The intended result is a metallic sulfide mine and leasing state-owned land for the purpose of developing a metallic sulfide mine is a violation of this public trust.
Furthermore, where is the oversight? An excellent example of the pollution threat and lack of oversight of local water supplies dates back to 2002, when Aquila Resources, the exploration company at that time, bored 769 drill holes, over 134,000 meters (83.3 miles) in Lake Township and Menominee County’s aquifer. Those test wells remain open and are not permanently capped. The failure to properly abandon these test holes creates a pollution risk to our drinking water. Now to add to the mix we have waste rock. The vast majority of the rock brought up is acid-draining waste. Where is this going? Into a tailings dam? A tailings dam is nothing, but an earthen structure destined to fail. This is a major environmental disaster just waiting to happen. I beg you to outlaw them.
Water is life. We cannot live without water. This alone should be sufficient reason to say no!