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Michigan Court of Appeals to Hear Mine Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals decided this week to hear arguments regarding a 2007 decision by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to issue mining and groundwater discharge permits to Kennecott Minerals for Eagle Mine. The case was brought forward by the original petitioners, which includes the National Wildlife Federation, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, and Huron Mountain Club.

No date for oral arguments has been set, although it will take several months to file briefs and schedule a hearing. The Court of Appeals accepted to hear the case on all issues brought forth by the petitioners, including the legitimacy of the Treated Wastewater Infiltration System, damage to water quality, and issues contesting the granting of the mining permit itself.

“We are glad the court agreed to hear arguments regarding our case. Being heard is the first step in the process and we are grateful to have that opportunity. We look forward to presenting the case again to the Appeals Court,” says Emily Whittaker, Executive Director of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. YDWP has been part of the case ever since it was filed in late 2007/early 2008. The case has been heard by an administrative law judge within the MDEQ, as well as in Circuit Court.