Monday, August 20, 2018

DEQ to hold public hearing Aug. 21 on Humboldt Mill permits for Eagle Mine; public comment periods announced

Aerial view of the Humboldt Mill Wastewater Treatment Plant and the north end of the Humboldt Pit Lake, referred to as the "Humboldt Tailings Disposal Facility" (HTDF). (2017 Photo © and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye)

MARQUETTE -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is holding a consolidated public hearing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at Westwood High School auditorium, 300 Westwood Drive, Ishpeming, Michigan 49849, to hear comments regarding the following:

(1) The MDEQ’s proposed decision to grant a request submitted by Eagle Mine LLC to amend Mining Permit MP 01 2010, issued under Part 632, Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, for approval to add additional tailings to the Humboldt Tailings Disposal Facility to a higher elevation than previously authorized. For additional information, contact Melanie Humphrey, MDEQ Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855, 906-250-7564.*

(2) The MDEQ’s proposed decision to modify an NPDES discharge permit issued to Eagle Mine, LLC, Humboldt Mill. The applicant proposes to discharge treated process wastewater, treated laboratory wastewater, treated water treatment backwash, treated sump water, and treated storm water to a new outfall through a pipeline directly to the Middle Branch Escanaba River.
Address of permittee: Eagle Mine LLC,
4547 County Road 601
Champion, MI 49814
Location of mining area: Sections 2 and 11, T47N, R29W, Humboldt Township, Marquette County.

Participants in the hearing will be asked to fill out attendance cards at the entrance of the auditorium indicating intentions to speak. Following opening remarks at the start of the hearing, participants will be called to speak in the order of cards received. Presentations will be limited to three minutes. Opportunities for additional time to speak may be offered if time allows.

Written comment deadlines: Sept. 18, Aug. 31, 2018

The DEQ will accept written comments on the Mining Permit Amendment Request from date of the hearing until 5 p.m. September 18, 2018. Comments may be mailed to MDEQ/OGMD, 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855, or E-mail comments to with "Humboldt Mill" as the subject.

The DEQ will accept written comments or objections to the proposed NPDES permit modification until August 31, 2018. The written comments or objections will be considered in the final decision to issue the permit. Persons wishing to submit comments regarding the NPDES permit modification should go to and click 'Add Comment,' enter information into the fields, and then click 'Submit.' Inquires should be directed to Renee Pionk, Permits Section, Water Resources Division (WRD), MDEQ, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan, 48909-7958; 517-284-5573;

Documents available

Documents pertaining to the Humboldt Mill Mining Permit Amendment Request and proposed decision may be accessed at the following web page under "Humboldt Mill Permit Amendment":,4561,7-135-3311_18442-359902--,00.html

Copies of the NPDES permit application, public notice, Antidegradation Demonstration, basis for decision memo, and draft permit are available for review at or at the WRD’s Upper Peninsula District Office located at 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, Michigan 49855; telephone 906-228-4853.

* Editor's Note: For background see our Jan. 2, 2018, article, "Environmental groups, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community question Lundin Mining's permit amendment request for Humboldt Mill tailings disposal."

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