Dear Editor,

My name is Tom Boerner, I have been involved in two contested cases hearings against permits issued to Aquila by EGLE and have just filed contested case petitions for two more: Air Quality Permit and Amended Part 632 Permit.

In my lifetime I have witnessed atrocities committed against the Menominee Tribe as their burial mounds that cover the area of the mine site have all been violated by persons from the State of Michigan, including Northern Michigan University. Remains, including skeletons, were exhumed from burial mounds and put on display in the university museum.

Aquila will never tell you this but a very large portion of where Aquila wants to put a mine is owned by the State of Michigan and is under the Michigan DNR. Anyone can still hunt, hike, explore and see nature on this state-owned land — get out there and do it. Many of the raised garden beds, the furthest native American artifacts of this type in North America, have been plowed over in the past 100 years and thousands of years of Menominee Indian Tribes history has been wiped out. Now, what remains is under attack by persons who are not only willing to destroy the history of the area, but must hate Native Americans and First Persons so much that they want to wipe out the last surviving physical history of an entire people.

For the people who don’t know this: The State of Michigan defends the actions of the Permit applicant. It is the Michigan taxpayer that provides — free of charge — lawyers from the Michigan Attorney General’s office who have vigorously defended Aquila Resources. This happens even when persons within EGLE Water Resources Division who reviewed Aquila’s permit application wrote in their finding of fact and conclusion of law: “The project is not consistent with the permitting requirements of Part 303, Wetlands Protection and Aquila’s permit may not be issued under this Part as Aquila’s Part 303 Wetlands Permit application did not meet the standards under Part 303 law.. Then add six Aquila attorneys who have no regard for the facts — only that they win and Aquila gets to have a mine of 1080 acres only 147 feet from the Menominee River that will pollute forever.

This is another Flint Water Crisis in the making. Remember what happened there? People are asking why and how the groundwater in Marinette and Menominee counties got to be so polluted with toxic chemicals it can’t be used? Remember; at some time in the past someone told our community what has happened would never be an issue. Where are those persons now?

The people who tell you there will be a mine are being misled; or worse — misleading you!

 

Tom Boerner

Lake Township