E.P.A. Please Block Long-Disputed Gold Mine Project in Upper Michigan

Click To Oppose The Long-Disputed Mine Project in Upper Michigan
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We are writing to you today to request the ban of disposal of mining wastes near the site of the
proposed Back Forty mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Under the Clean Water Act, it will protect
a valuable world class bass fishery and sturgeon spawning route. The ban will effectively block the
development of a gold and copper mine on the Menominee River that runs on the boarder of Upper
Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin.
We ask the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a determination under the Clean Water Act
banning the disposal of toxic mine waste in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s largest watershed, which flows
into Lake Michigan, a federal body of water, about 55 miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The
Menominee River is a crucial breeding ground for lake sturgeon which are threatened in Michigan,
endangered in Indiana and a ‘watch’ species in Wisconsin
The two-decades old proposal to mine these ores, called the Back Forty project, has been supported by
a few Upper Peninsula Michigan lawmakers for the economic benefits to their campaign funds, but is
vehemently opposed by other counties, municipalities, conservation and environmental groups. This
opposition includes 93% of Menominee County voters. We know it would do irreparable harm to the air,
land, water, sensitive wild rice, along with avian, aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. The vast
amount of nature that would be devastated is staggering. We are already in a water crisis exacerbated
by climate change. There is the potential for this mine to poison or destroy a large of Lake Michigan
along with the other Great Lakes downstream of the chain. These are the countries largest bodies of
fresh water.
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, which has always opposed the proposed mine, believes the
decision to block it on their ancestral home, origin story, and namesake River would be the justice they
Your decision to stop the inevitable generation of lethal acid mine drainage here will be justified after an
extensive review of scientific and technical research. We applaud that you are committed to making
tough but essential science-based decisions within your regulatory authority that will provide durable
protections for people, our property values, wildlife, and the planet.
Your determination will make good on a campaign promise by President Biden to protect precious fresh
water. The bass fishery here is world class, with Great Lakes tourism generating billions of dollars of
economic benefits which extend beyond Michigan, particularly to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
The disposal of materials such as acid mine drainage, extensive tailings and cyanide from the
construction and operation of the mine could destroy 300 miles of shorelines from here to Chicago. That
is the water source for 6.5 million Illinois people! Lake Huron, acres of wetlands and Green Bay’s
freshwater estuary will also have irreparable damage. Any mining propaganda which claims these losses
would be inconsequential, do not represent an accurate and thorough assessment of extremely likely

Again, we are requesting the ban disposal of mining wastes near the site of the proposed Back Forty
mine, under the Clean Water Act.