Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lake Superior Binational Forum to hold public meeting on impacts of nonferrous mining Sept 28 in Marquette

ASHLAND, WIS. -- The Lake Superior Binational Forum will hold an open public meeting called "The Impacts of Nonferrous Mining in the Lake Superior Basin: Overview and Updates" from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, in the Community Room at the Peter White Public Library, 217 N. Front Street, in Marquette, Michigan. Forum meetings are free and open to the public with no need to pre-register, although seating at the library is limited to 150.

Lake Superior Binational Forum meetings are free and open to the public. Pictured here are members of the audience offering public comment at the March 23, 2012, Forum in Ashland, Wis. -- the first of three open public meetings about the impacts of mining activities in the Lake Superior basin. The second meeting will take place Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, in the Peter White Library in Marquette. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now.)

Speakers include representatives from the Lake Superior Binational Forum, the Lake Superior Binational Program, Michigan Tech University's Center for Water and Society, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, National Wildlife Federation, and employees with Rio Tinto mining company. (See below for the agenda)

"We have scheduled speakers that represent different perspectives about mining so we can learn from each other and understand more about how mining activities in the Lake Superior basin affect the economy and environment," said Bruce Lindgren, Forum U.S. co-chair.

Bruce Lindgren, Lake Superior Binational Forum U.S. co-chair, introduces speakers at the March 23, 2012, Binational Forum in Ashland, Wis. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now.)

Members of the public are invited to a public comment period starting at 4:30 p.m. when anyone is welcome to express comments about mining and other issues as they relate to Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Binational Forum offers this second of three public meetings about the impacts of mining in the Lake Superior basin at this upcoming meeting in Marquette. A third and final meeting about nonferrous mining activities is scheduled in the Minnesota Iron Range in March 2013. The meetings are funded through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Susan Hedman, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 administrator, speaks at the March 23, 2012, Lake Superior Binational Forum in Ashland, Wis. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The first public meeting--held in March 2012 in Ashland, Wisconsin  -- focused on the historical, environmental, and economic impacts from ferrous mining in the basin. All
audio and video recordings of that meeting are available on the Lake Superior Binational Forum's web site.*

September 28, 2012, Meeting Agenda:

1 p.m. Welcome to Marquette and this Meeting -- Lake Superior Binational Forum Members Jon Magnuson and Ron Sundell, Marquette
1:10 Welcome to Marquette -- Commissioner Jason Schneider, City of Marquette
1:20 Presentation of the Lake Superior Binational Program's 2012 Environmental Stewardship Awards to Michigan Recipients -- Jon Saari and Chauncey Moran, a tie in the U.S. Adult Individual category
1:40 Historical Environmental Impacts from Nonferrous Mining in the Basin -- Mike Ripley, Lake Superior Binational Program, Superior Work Group Mining Committee, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.**
2:10 A rare glimpse into the past: Lake Sediments Reveal Long-term Methylmercury Records from Mining -- Dr. Charles Kerfoot, Professor of Biological Sciences, Michigan Tech University, Houghton**

2:40 BREAK

2:55 Protecting Water Quality through Regulations -- Michelle Halley, Attorney, National Wildlife, Marquette

At a meeting preceding the Lake Superior Binational Forum meeting in Ashland, Wis., last March, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Attorney and Senior Manager F. Michelle Halley presents a summary of a recent NWF report on sulfide mining. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

3:25 The Roles and Contributions of Native American Tribes in Mining Issues -- Jessica Koski, Mining Technical Assistant, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga

At the Ojibwa Senior Citizens' Center in Baraga last February, Jessica Koski, Mining Technical Assistant, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, shows maps of UP mining projects in her update preceding the film Locked Out, shown as part of her Mining Impacts on Native Lands Film Series. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

3:55  How Communities and Rio Tinto Eagle are Shaping Modern Mining -- Simon Nish, Director of Communities, Communications and External Relations, and Jim French,
Director Health, Safety and Environment, Rio Tinto Eagle Project

Aerial view of the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine, with Eagle Rock, an Ojibwa sacred site, at right. (Photo © and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye)

4:30 Q and A and Open Public Comment -- Facilitated by Rita Hodgins
5:30 Adjourn

The Binational Forum has also developed an extensive section about mining throughout the basin on its site. Users can access information about all aspects of mining in
Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario.

The Lake Superior Binational Forum is a citizen stakeholder group of American and Canadian volunteers who work together to provide input to governments about management efforts and to educate basin residents about ways to protect and restore the lake basin's natural resources. The U.S. Coordinator's office is located at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute on the Northland College campus, Ashland, Wisconsin, and is supported by a grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

For more information visit www.superiorforum.org, call (715) 682-1489 or email binationalforum@northland.edu.

* Click here for audio and video recordings of the March 23, 2012, Forum in Ashland: "Mining Impacts and Lake Superior: A Basinwide Approach."

** Click here for a short video clip from Mike Ripley's presentation, "Historical Impacts of Ferrous Mining in the Lake Superior Basin," at the March 2012 meeting in Ashland, where he spoke about the stamp sand in the Keweenaw and mentioned Dr. Kerfoot's work on mercury.

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