Celebrate drinking water, bless the Menominee river
MARINETTE, Wis. (WLUC) – The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River celebrated clean and accessible water in the Menominee River on Friday. The Menominee River was blessed in a water ceremony performed by the Menominee Indian tribe.
“It celebrates the connection between the people of the Menominee River and the sanctity of water, especially for the indigenous peoples of the region,” said Dr. Al Gedicks, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resource and Protection Council.
The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River has been lobbying against Aquila Resources and the Back Forty mining project, which aims to create a zinc, copper and gold mine, for about five years.
“All the funds that we will receive [Friday] go towards legal fees to save the Menominee River from the Back Forty mines, ”said Jerry Boudish, contingency director for the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River.
Last year, Back Forty had several permits needed to move forward with the mine, but two permits were revoked earlier this year. Aquila appealed the denial of the wetland permit and, in May, quashed that appeal, saying he wanted to create an underground mine instead.
“We have stopped them so far. With all the different permits, we stopped. They are going back to square one right now, ”Boudish said.
The coalition is concerned that if the mine is approved, the Menominee River would not have suitable drinking water.
“This mine will discharge 16 million gallons per day of polluted treated water into the upper reaches of the Menominee River,” Boudish said.
Aquila Resources did not respond to TV6’s request for comment, but has said in the past that it has worked with EGLE for years to limit impacts and that the project would directly impact 11.2 acres of wetlands. . The coalition also says there are thousands of people across Michigan and Wisconsin against the Back Forty mining project.
“That’s why this project will never go forward,” Gedicks said.
In June, Aquila announced that she had started a non-binding letter of intent to sell properties in Wisconsin. At this time, the timeline for Aquila’s future is unclear. Learn more about Back Forty here and the Coalition here.
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