Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate Lake Superior Day July 23 in Copper Harbor

Canoe races are a favorite activity during Lake Superior Day celebrations in Copper Harbor. Here on the boardwalk visitors cheer for the winners of a canoe race. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

COPPER HARBOR -- Celebrate the beauty and bounty of Lake Superior on Sunday, July 23, in Copper Harbor. Community volunteers, along with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, are organizing the 5th annual Lake Superior Day Festival with lots of special activities at the 6th Street Dock along the Copper Harbor Boardwalk (near Isle Royale Queen boat dock):
  •  Enjoy fish stew (Kalamojakka), homemade pies, rieska (Finnish flatbread), and more at a community picnic ($5 donation suggested).
  • Canoe races and kayak demonstrations
  • Interactive art (paint the model freighter!)
  • Learn about the health of Lake Superior from a presentation by Great Lakes scientist Dr. Marty Auer from Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Live music, talks, poetry, and more. 
During a previous Lake Superior Day celebration in Copper Harbor, Michigan Tech's Research Vessel Agassiz takes visitors around the harbor to learn how scientists use the boat to study Lake Superior and nearby waterways. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

From 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. festival attendees will have the opportunity to find out how scientists study the Great Lakes by taking a 40-minute scientific excursion in the harbor aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz. These excursions are offered as part of the Ride the Waves Program funded by a grant from General Motors. On each scientific excursion, Dr. Marty Auer, a Michigan Tech Great Lakes scientist, will demonstrate the use of sampling equipment to collect data on water clarity, temperature, and turbidity that tells us about the health of the lake. Participants will explore the link between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

The Agassiz will depart every 45 minutes from the Isle Royale Queen dock beginning at 1 p.m. Space is limited to 17 persons per excursion. Participants must be at least 7 years old, and children must be accompanied by an adult. All participants should wear closed-toe shoes. Interested participants may pre-register for a scientific excursion aboard the Agassiz by filling in the form here. or email Lloyd Wescoat atlwescoat@mtu.edu. Space will be available for on-site participants.

For more information about the event, contact lead organizer, Don Kilpela, Captain of the Isle Royale Queen, at (906)289-4735.

Lake Superior Day is celebrated throughout the Lake Superior basin on or close to the 3rd Sunday in July in many communities around Lake Superior. The event, begun in the 1990s, highlights the special connections people have to this unique world treasure. All residents who live, work, play, and worship around the lake are invited to organize events in their communities or take action in their homes, at their places of employment or in community groups to help protect Lake Superior.

Click here to learn more about Lake Superior Day events around the lake.

See also information on Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes from the  Michigan Department of Environmental Quality here or visit the EPA Web site.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Public comment period for Eagle East mining permit amendment extended to July 20

MARQUETTE -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD) has extended the closing date of the public comment period for the Eagle East Mining Permit Amendment request to 5 p.m. July 20, 2017. Mail your comments to: DEQ Eagle East Permit Amendment, OGMD, 1504 W. Washington St, Marquette, MI 49855; or E-mail comments to: DEQ-Mining-Comments@michigan.gov, with "Eagle East Permit Amendment" as the subject.

The Mining Action Group (formerly Save the Wild U.P. and now part of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, or UPEC) says Lundin Mining’s requested amendment of the Eagle Mine permit would require building more than 8 kilometers of new tunnels to reach a totally different orebody, "Eagle East."

"Eagle East is a new orebody located beyond the previously permitted project boundary for the Eagle Mine," the Mining Action Group states on their Web site. This major expansion could have serious environmental impacts that were never considered under the original permit. More mining will mean more tailings, more dewatering, and increased risk of contamination."

DEQ officials have stated they are reviewing the application amendment just as they would an application for a new permit. They held a public hearing on Eagle East on June 8, 2017. The original deadline for comments was July 6, 2017. It has been extended to Wednesday, July 20.

Click here to read the application amendment.

Click here to read the Mining Action Group's questions concerning Eagle East.

See also: "Questions on Eagle East: DEQ to hold public meeting June 8."

More details coming soon.

MDEQ to hold public hearing on anchor supports for Line 5 pipelines July 25

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is currently accepting comments on a permit application from Enbridge Energy, Inc., to install up to 22 anchor support structures into the Lake Michigan lake bed for the Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac between Emmet and Mackinac counties.

The MDEQ will hold a public hearing on the permit application from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at Little Bear East Arena and Community Center (275 Marquette Street, St. Ignace, MI 49781). The public will have the opportunity to provide comment on the record about the permit application submitted under authority of Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.

Comments are also being accepted on the MDEQ MiWaters website at https://miwaters.deq.state.mi.us/miwaters/#/external/publicnotice/search. Enter 2RD-DFDK-Y35G into the Application Number box and select Search. Then select View and the Add Comment tab.  Written comments may also be delivered to the hearing or mailed to the MDEQ Gaylord Field Office at 2100 West M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735.

Additional information about the permit application is available at www.michigan.gov/pipelineanchors. This permit application public comment period will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.

This public hearing precedes the Public Feedback Session beginning at 6 p.m. on the Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc., draft Alternatives Analysis for the Straits Pipeline report also at Little Bear East Arena and Community Center. While both events involve the Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac, the public hearing is specific to the permit application for anchor supports.