Dear Editor,

A few years ago, my wife and I built a home on the Menominee River. During construction, it rained and a few hundred gallons of water accumulated in the basement. The builder applied to the DEQ for a permit to drain across the property to the river. It was denied. When our well was dug, we found out we had an artesian well and were told we could not drain the excess water into the river. We thought how great the State of Michigan’s DEQ is taking such good care of the river.

In another home, on a lake, a regular septic system was not allowed due to possible drainage into the lake. Drainage of contaminates was not likely but to protect the environment the DEQ said a mound system was needed. More expensive by far but it was to save the environment. We were impressed the environment was being protected.

Now we find the proposed Back Forty Mine plans on dumping 1.5 million gallons of treated mine waste into the river daily which will change the PH of the river and would harm or kill the vegetation and aquatic life. We need to be proactive to protect our water, air, soils, aquatic life, wildlife and people from the dangers of open-pit metallic sulfide mining. In an advertisement placed by Aquila in the EagleHerald, they plan to mine up to 32 years. Do the math.

Don’t forget about the many millions of gallons of toxic waste that will be stored in the upstream tailing dam (cheapest method, highest failure rate). There is rail service nearby and the processing and waste could be done at a much safer distance than the current location of 50 yards from the Menominee River. According to EGLE, Aquila evaluated offsite processing and storage for the Back Forty project and determined it was not economically prudent for them.

So, looking back at our few projects, we should have just told the DEQ we decided it would not be economically prudent for us and just go ahead and pollute. Shouldn’t everyone be able to say it isn’t economically prudent then go ahead and pollute? Aquila Resources needs to be held to the same environmental standards we all are and not given a pass on protecting our air and water.

The Michigan EGLE’s primary function is to protect the air and water for the citizens and not to protect profits for a foreign company. Contact your governor, DEQ/EGLE, your Reps and Senators of Michigan and Wisconsin to let them know that our lives matter.

Please help save our water by going to jointherivercoalition@gmail.com.

 

D. Piontek

Wallace