Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Letter: CR 595 is a haul road for Kennecott's Mine

Dear Editor,

County Road 595 is being built because of the mine at Eagle Rock. If there were no mine, there would be no road. It is a road for the mine -- a haul road. Kennecott needs to step up to the plate and do what is right, and it is the DEQ’s job to make them follow the law. This is a mine road and the mining company needs to take responsibility for it. They need to amend their permit to include this road. They need to increase their financial assurance to include the road, do an Environmental Impact Assessment, provide contingency plans, and address possible reclamation. These are the responsibility of Kennecott -- not the citizens of Marquette County.

If this road is built, County Roads 550, 510, and AAA will continue to be used for the next two years or until 595 is completed. After that, those roads will still be used for supplies and employees. Who is going to take care of those roads? Who will be paying for the upkeep and repairs? We have been told for years that money for road repairs and maintenance is scarce. Now the DEQ/Kennecott are asking us to support and take care of a new road whose main purpose is to help a huge international extraction corporation move its ore from the mine to the mill.

I understand why people do not want all this mining traffic coming through their town, on the roads they travel every day. I don’t want them in my backyard either, but they are there and will continue to be there into the future. And again the DEQ has not made the mining company responsible.

This issue should have been properly addressed in the original permit. From the beginning, the DEQ has allowed Kennecott to "make up their plans as they go." This is not what the law says should be done.

It is a haul road and the DEQ needs to treat it as such.

Carla Champagne
Big Bay, Michigan

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