Dec 14, 2007

Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company issued permits

The Department of Environmental Quality announced in a press release Friday its decision to approve a series of permits to the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company to conduct mining operations at the proposed Eagle Project Mine near Marquette.

The department’s decision follows a period of extensive review by the DEQ of public comments and supporting information to determine whether Kennecott’s proposal met the strict standards contained within Michigan’s air quality, groundwater, and mining laws. The DEQ is required to make its decision based solely on whether a proposal meets those standards.

“This has been one of the most thorough reviews of an application ever done by this agency,” said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester. “In the end, Kennecott’s proposal met the high standard set by Michigan’s environmental laws.”

Chester said that information received during the public comment period resulted in a number of changes to Kennecott’s permits to alleviate concerns that were expressed by the public and ensure that Michigan’s resources are protected.

“We have made every effort to address the public’s concerns within the limits of what the law allows,” said Director Chester. “We must now remain vigilant in ensuring that Kennecott complies with its permits and lives up to its end of the bargain in keeping Michigan’s environment safe.”

The mine needs five permits to begin operations. The company had to obtain a mining permit, a groundwater discharge permit, an air use permit, a lease from the DNR for use of state-owned surface property and a mining reclamation permit. Friday’s announcement means that Kennecott must still acquire a surface use lease from the Department of Natural Resources for the project.

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