By Gabriel Caplett
Posted on Headwaters News Apr. 11, 2012
MARQUETTE -- Once again, the Army Corps of Engineers has objected to Kennecott’s planned ore hauling road, in Marquette County. The road project, formerly called "Woodland Road," but now going by "County Road 595" and applied for by the county road commission, "is deficient in several areas," according to a letter dated March 29, sent from the Corps’ Detroit office to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The letter makes clear that the "the primary beneficiary of the route as proposed would be Kennecott." According to the Corps, 595 "is the most direct route from the Eagle Mine to Kennecott’s ore processing facility," in Humboldt Township, so the road plan should be clear it would be built largely to service Kennecott’s mining operations.
In the letter, the Corps lists a number of other potential hauling routes that would be preferable to constructing 595, including rail options, something not considered in the application. Rehabilitating abandoned railways, the Corps writes, "in combination with selected road improvements and active railroad lines, may provide a potentially viable alternative for transportation of ore and timber, as well as improve road access from US-41 to the northern portion of Marquette County."
At a meeting Tuesday, county commissioner Mike Quayle supported having Kennecott haul ore using a rail system, instead of constructing 595. ...
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Click here for the March 29, 2012, Army Corps letter to the EPA.