Thursday, March 15, 2012

Updated: Lake Superior Binational Forum to hold public meeting March 23

ASHLAND, WIS. -- The Lake Superior Binational Forum will hold a public meeting, "Mining Impacts and Lake Superior: A Basinwide Approach," from Noon to 5 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, March 23, at the AmericInn Conference Center, 3009 State Highway 2 East, Ashland, Wisconsin.

No registration is needed to attend this meeting in person. Admission is free; however, seating is limited to 300 people in the AmericInn Conference Center.

What is the purpose of this public meeting?

The Lake Superior Binational Forum developed its vision statement 20 years ago by members from diverse perspectives around the lake who shared one common core value: "Water is life, and the quality of water determines the quality of life."

This public meeting has been organized in the spirit of that original vision -- it will offer speakers addressing the economic, environmental, and social impacts that open-pit iron ore strip mines may have on basin communities.

Speakers will talk about these topics:
  • How ferrous mining may affect regional economies -- and the types of jobs a mining economy offers
  • How ferrous mining has historically affected the natural environment in the basin
  • How the binationally approved lakewide management plan addresses sources of water, land, and air pollution, and how mining activities may affect the goals of the Lake Superior Binational Program's Zero Discharge Demonstration Program
  • How sovereign nations are responding to proposed mine operations in both countries.

The Forum welcomes a special guest to this meeting!

Speaking at this meeting will be Ms. Susan Hedman, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Region 5. Ms. Hedman, who was appointed to her position by President Obama, will talk about the role of the US EPA regarding mining issues in the Great Lakes.*

Click here for the agenda for this public meeting.

Why is this meeting being held in Ashland, Wisconsin?

The Binational Forum is interested in hearing from diverse stakeholders living in northern Wisconsin and Michigan communities as communities face possible economic and environmental changes due to proposed mining operations.

Webinar Access: If you can't attend in person, this meeting is also offered as a live webinar. You must register if you choose to join the webinar. Space is limited to 100 online guests, so register early. You will be able to watch and listen to speakers' presentations, but will not be able to ask questions. There is no fee for the webinar. Click here to register for the webinar.

Who should attend?

This public input session is intended for:

Residents of the western Lake Superior region interested in hearing fact-based information about mining operations and potential impacts on communities; local elected officials and community leaders; business owners and operators; natural resource managers for agencies and tribes; educators and representatives from regional organizations of all kinds -- anyone with a vision for how to protect and restore the natural environment of the Lake Superior basin.

The Forum has also scheduled an open public comment period starting at 4 p.m. to allow people to give comments and ask questions about open pit ferrous mines. Speakers' PowerPoints and other recordings of the presentations will be made available on the Forum's web site in early April.

The Binational Forum holds four meetings a year in host communities around the basin in the U.S. and Canada to hear public comments about issues related to Lake Superior. These meetings allow the Forum to learn what issues people are concerned about. The Forum also brings in speakers to inform communities about the Lake Superior Lakewide Management Plan and successful regional practices taking place that help meet management plan goals.

*Editor's Note: Click here to read Teresa Bertossi's Feb. 12, 2012, article on EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman's presentation in Marquette.

Visit to learn more about the Lake Superior Binational Forum.

No comments: