By Gabriel Caplett
Posted on Headwaters News May 6, 2012
MARQUETTE -- In a sign the EPA may be caving in to political pressure from federal, state, and local politicians supporting Kennecott’s "County Road 595" haul road, the agency has tempered its criticism of the project. In an April 23 letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality the EPA ignored many of the concerns outlined in Army Corps of Engineers’ comments on the project in March.
According to the Army Corps, "the primary beneficiary of the route as proposed would be Kennecott." The Corps noted that 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. The Corps outlined a number of hauling options that could work to service Kennecott’s Eagle Mine operation, including an already planned bypass of Marquette Township, as well as road-to-rail options, something Kennecott seriously considered in its original Eagle mining application.
Unlike the Army Corps, the EPA did not note the road project is clearly for Kennecott’s mining operations and failed to mention bypass or rail options, focusing instead on two possible alternate routes east of proposed 595 that the county road commission is already supplying additional comments to the DEQ on: one through the Mulligan Plains, and another using a portion of County Road 510.... Click here to read the rest of this article on Headwaters News.