Sunday, October 06, 2013

Abundant Asbestos Confirmed at GTAC Bulk Sampling Site in Penokees

By Barbara With
Posted Oct. 6, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

Yesterday a group of scientists led by geologist Dr. Tom Fitz and geochemist Dr. Joseph Skulan hiked to Gogebic Taconite’s proposed Bulk Sampling Site 4 to hold a press conference concerning the deadly asbestos present at the site. Several journalists accompanied the scientists who explained that high levels of the dangerous mineral have been found where GTac has applied for a permit to remove thousands of tons of rock.

Dr. Joseph Skulan holds a piece of rock from Bulk Sampling Site 4 that contains chrysotile, another deadly form of asbestos. Chrysotile, a known carcinogen, has been recommended for inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent, an international treaty that restricts the global trade in hazardous materials. (Photo © and courtesy Barbara With)

Fitz, an associate professor of geoscience at Northland College, showed samples of rock from the site that contained the grunerite, one of the deadliest types of asbestos.

According to Skulan, who issued this press release earlier in the day, the DNR collected rock at Bulk Sample Site 4 in the spring which was positively identified as grunerite, and the asbestiform crystal habit was confirmed by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) last week.

"DNR hydrologist Larry Lynch sent me both reports," Skulan confirmed. "The stuff we collected is identical to the DNR sample, and is from the same location."

While the presence of grunerite asbestos at Bulk Sample Site 4 was confirmed by the DNR, the high abundance of asbestos at the site has not previously been reported. ...

Click here to see journalist Barbara With's video clip of the scientists at the press conference at GTac's proposed Bulk Sampling Site 4, and to read the rest of this article on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative -- including GTac's claim that asbestos does not occur in the proposed mine site.

Woods Person, who was among the 20 or more people who attended the Oct. 5 press conference at proposed Bulk Sampling Site 4, posted his report, "What Happens Now?" -- the third in his series of articles on asbestos in the Penokees.

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