Sunday, February 20, 2011

Letter: Budget woes and haul roads: What's wrong with this picture?

By Jack Parker

We are learning that both Federal and State budgets must be cut drastically, and that our DNR has already been targeted. That comes from spending money we don’t have. Now we must pay.

Considering that both DNR and DEQ have long been underfunded to the extent that they cannot enforce existing regulations, we must resist the cuts and even insist on redistribution of funds so that the law can and will be upheld.

A peculiar situation has been created concerning the Kennecott haul road from the Eagle deposit to the Humboldt mill. Months of manipulation have led to a growing perception that Kennecott could fund the road-permitting process, which would include design and environmental impact studies -- to be performed by the County -- with construction to be funded by sources unknown, but probably State or Federal.

Not discussed yet is the fact that for eight years, probably many more than eight, that road will be pounded by Kennecott trucks hauling away our mineral resources at the rate of


$500,000,000.00 per year.

500,000 tonnes at more than $1,000/tonne.

(It varies, but the current value is more than $1,100/tonne.)

Can anybody see a better way to boost our budget?

Who should pay for the haul road?

How much of the half billion/year should come back to the State?

Jack Parker, Mining Engineer
Baltic, MI 49963

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