By Eartha Jane Melzer (Published July 26, 2010, in the Michigan Messenger)
The first mine to be permitted under Michigan’s non-ferrous metallic mining law -- the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company nickel sulfide mine west of Marquette -- continues to draw concerns and criticism.
Michigan has dwindling resources for environmental regulation and its environmental and natural resources divisions are undergoing transformation and downsizing.
In an interview with Michigan Messenger this month state Department of Natural Resources and Environment spokesman Bob McCann -- formerly spokesman for the Department of Environmental Quality -- offered a dismal picture of how the state would regulate the mine. He said that the controversial nickel sulfide mine, like other businesses in Michigan, might be inspected once a year or less due to dwindling state resources. He also stated that Michigan has no system to pay for regulation though assessing fees, and that the $17 million financial assurance bond put up by Kennecott was expected to be enough to close up the mine if the company disappeared, but that any environmental damages that the mine might produce would have to be pursued in court....Read the rest of this article in the Michigan Messenger.