Stupak comments on sulfide mining rules
WASHINGTON, D. C. -- On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-MI) staff submitted preliminary comments on his behalf during a
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) hearing on the implementation of the new law regulating non-ferrous (sulfide) mineral mining. Stupak thanked MDEQ for hosting three meetings to obtain public comments and cited priorities MDEQ should consider when developing the rules.
"The rules that we are currently discussing lay the foundation for all non-ferrous mining in Michigan," Stupak said. "It is important that we keep in mind Michigan's environmentally sensitive location, potential health effects to residents and long term economic stability of the region."
Due to the importance the mining industry has on the northern Michigan region, Stupak expressed his appreciation for the MDEQ meetings being held in the Upper Peninsula where a majority of the people affected by the law reside. Two of the proposed sulfide mining sites are in northern Michigan, resulting in concerns about the potential environmental and health affects of the projects. Stupak's comments will be submitted by his staff at the Marquette and Escanaba hearings.
"The people who live in nearby communities to the proposed mining sites deserve to know the environmental risks posed by potential accidents that could contaminate their surface and ground water and adversely impact their public health," a Congressional Aide said on Stupak's behalf at the hearing.
In addition to the broad scope hazards to residents, Stupak outlined logistical concerns including who would be financially responsible for the implementation of legislative enforcement prior to mining and what accountability measures would be implemented if long-term or immediate hazards were to occur. Stupak encouraged MDEQ to require a surety bond or other financial assurance of no less than 20 years after the mining projects end for any company granted a mining permit. Stupak also expressed the need to incorporate rules that would require impartial and independent geological and hydrological studies to take place as an additional safeguard.
"We cannot allow mining to begin until we know who will pay for the implementation of the law, who will be held accountable for any possible long term damage from mining, and how we will go about requiring regular studies to ensure environmental and health damage is not occurring," Stupak said. "I'm not against mining; however, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't consider the potential hazards to northern Michigan residents and advise MDEQ of those concerns. I appreciate the opportunity to express my concerns and to take part in this process so that we can work together to do this the right way."
During the hearing, Stupak's Aide said that the Congressman regretted not attending in person but that he would be submitting written comments in full to MDEQ. He also encouraged public to submit their comments as well by the December 19th deadline.*
Michigan residents can submit their comments on the rules for non-ferrous (sulfide) mineral
mining by writing to Office
of Geological Survey, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, MI 48909-7756. Phone: 517-241-1515 / FAX:
517-241-1595 / E-Mail: email@example.com.
Comments must be received by Dec. 19, 2005.
The rules for Part 632 governing non-ferrous metallic mineral mining can be
viewed on the DEQ
Web site. Read more
about the public meetings and hearings on these rules.
Constituents can contact Congressman Stupak and his staff by calling toll-free
1-800-950-7371 or by emailing him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. His Congressional Aide Amy Wisti may be reached in Houghton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,
Monday through Thursday, at (906) 482-1371.
For Rep. Stupak's views on current issues, visit his
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