Federal Agencies Disapprove of Haul Road
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlfife has recommended to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment to NOT APPROVE the Woodland Road wetlands permits. There were two important concerns that emerged from all three agency comments:
1. They recognized that the intent of the road was for the use of Kennecott to haul ore from Eagle to Humboldt – no matter how they tried to guise it for the good of the public and part of a greater consortium for other uses. The agencies noted a need for a “holistic” approach to the building of a mining haul road which included noting cumulative and individual impacts of the proposed Eagle Mine, their Humboldt Mill processing plant and any future mining ventures that may utilize the roadway.
2. That Kennecott did not meet the letter nor intent of the law and did not apply the necessary science or diligence to prove their case in the development of this road through this virtually ‘roadless’ region. They cited a lack of good comparative analysis of alternative routes, wetlands mitigation projects that do not meet legal criteria and an overall deficiency in the wetlands permit application itself.
Further detail about their comments can be viewed in this document
The MDNRE has 90 days to either get compliance from the applicant with their concerns or deny the permit. If the company can comply with these agencies’ concerns within the next 90 days these agencies may withdraw their objection and the wetlands permit may be approved. If, however, the MDNRE approves this permit without these agenies withdrawal of their concerns – the applicant must file for a permit under Part 404 Clean Water Act with the Army Corp of Engineers.
The outcome is still to be determined, so we urge all citizens to again weigh in with their comments to the DNRE asking them to deny this wetlands permit. A simple email to Mr. Smolinski supporting the EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendations to NOT APPROVE the Woodland Road LLC wetland permit, with a cc: to Director Rebecca Humphries AND a little call to our Governor would be nice. Keep it all nice and polite and urge them to DENY this permit.
Mr. Mike Smolinski – DNRE
cc: Director Rebecca Humphries – DNRE
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services