Say NO to Toxic Mining on the Menominee River!

Menominee River | Photo by Michele Bourdieu

The Menominee River has some of the most spectacular hiking trails, rugged terrain, old growth forests, wilderness campsites and waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. However, Aquila Resources, Inc., a Canadian exploration company, proposes to put a 750-foot deep, open-pit metallic sulfide mine 50 yards from the edge of the Menominee River, risking contamination of municipal drinking water for Marinette, WI and Menominee, MI. The proposed mine would also destroy water quality as it flows into Green Bay and eventually Lake Michigan, which would impact approximately 40 million people. Aquatic life, including the largest source of sturgeon for Lake Michigan, property values, and tourism would be adversely affected. The Menominee River is not the place for a mine.

Tell Michigan’s EGLE (Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) to deny AquilaResources, Inc.’s permit to develop the Back Forty, a metallic sulfide mine on the banks of the Menominee River.

Metallic sulfide mining contributes to more Superfund cleanup sites than any other mining activity. Sulfide mining is used to extract copper, nickel, and other metals from sulfide ores, using Cyanide in the processing. Environmental risks are much higher than traditional ore mining; because, when exposed to air and water, the pulverized rock powder creates sulfuric acid, which then leaches out as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and contaminates lakes, rivers, and groundwater, including municipal water supplies.

The proposed mine would pose a significant threat to the cultural and natural resources of communities throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. Groundwater, rivers, and ultimately Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes, would become contaminated if Acid Mine Drainage were to seep into surface and groundwater, posing a significant danger to both human and aquatic life.

Aquila withdrew its original Dam Safety Permit in December, 2019, due to insufficient information, and is expected to submit a new Dam Safety Permit application sometime in 2020.

Please urge the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to reject the second version of Aquila’s Dam Safety Permit, when it is submitted, and prevent the establishment of the proposed Back Forty mine.

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