Kennecott proposes to dispose of treated wastewater as part of a nickel and copper sulfide mining operation within the Yellow Dog Plains of northwestern Marquette County. EPA notified the company that any underground disposal system at the mining site must comply with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act's federal Underground Injection Control (UIC) program before construction and operation. The Safe Drinking Water Act is intended to protect underground sources of drinking water.
The UIC permitting process for the underground disposal system is EPA's only direct regulatory role in the Eagle mine project. EPA is conducting a technical evaluation of the permit application and supporting documents and expects to issue a draft decision before the end of the year. EPA will accept public comments and hold a public hearing when the draft decision is announced.
A copy of the permit application and more information about the Eagle mine project and the underground injection control program is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/kennecott/index.htm.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife requests EPA delay on Kennecott mine
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has requested the EPA to determine whether habitat for the endangered Kirtland warbler and threatened Canada lynx occurs in areas that could directly or indirectly be affected by Kennecott's Eagle Project.
According to the USFWS, "Kirtland's warblers utilize young, dense stands of jack pine that are interspersed with treeless openings," and requested the EPA to conduct a survey of male Kirtland's warblers, in late Spring, 2009, if potential habitat is located in the area.Although key indicators suggest the area as suitable habitat for both species and were acknowledged in Kennecott's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the company did not consider the project as potentially affecting Kirtland warbler or Canadian lynx habitat. According to the DEQ, Kennecott conducted only 7 months of the legally-required 2-year flora and fauna study. . . Read more on SaveTheWildUP.
Editor's Note: This information is courtesy SaveTheWildUP.