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MAZINAIGANPAGE8SPRINGSUMMER2014MININGbeneededfortheSDEIS.TribalstaffwereincludedintheprocessofidentifyingissuesthatneededtobeaddressedintheSDEISbutformostIAPgroupswereexcludedfromdecision-makingontheactualdatacollectionandanalysisthatwouldbeneededtoaddressthoseissues.Consequentlymanyofthesameweak-nessesthatwereevidentinthe2009DEISsuchasalackofbaselinehydrologicdataandwaterqualitymodelingdeficienciesarestillpresentinthe2013SDEIS.Oneexamplewastheanalysisneededtoassessimpactstowetlandsfromdrawdownofthewatertable.ThebroadconsensusofthewetlandIAPgroupwasthatthisimpactneededtobecharacterizedthroughrobustmodelingofgroundwaterdrawdown.Thisisabasicanalysisthatisdoneformanyotherminingproposals.ThethreecooperatingtribesGLIFWC1854TreatyAuthorityMinnesotaPollu-tionControlAgencyU.S.FishandWildlifeServiceandU.S.ForestServiceallsupportedtheidea.UltimatelytheanalysiswasdeemedbytheleadagenciestobetoodifficultandwasnotapartoftheSDEIS.AftertheinitialidentificationofissuesintheIAPprocesstheleadagenciesdevelopedtechnicaldatapackagesandmanagementplans.Thosewerethefoun-dationaldocumentsonwhichtheSDEISwasbased.Graduallytheproposedprojectchangedfromtheinitialproposalof2007andtherevisedproposalof2009.Awatercollectionsystemaroundtheproposedstockpilesandthetailingsbasinwasincludedandthecollectedwaterwaspro-posedtoberoutedtotwowatertreatmentplants.Themostreactivewasterockwasproposedtobebackfilledintooneoftheminepits.TheEPAaskedfortheinstallationofgroundwaterwellsattheminesitetobettercharacterizewaterqual-ityandadditionaldatacollectionforsurfacewaterqualitywasconducted.Despitetheseimprovementstheproposedprojectwasstillexpectedtorequireperpetualcaptureandtreatmentofwaterinordertoavoidviolatingwaterqualitystandards.Inadditionthewatercapturesystemsmustoperateatextremelyhighefficienciesgreaterthan90effectivenessinordertoavoidviolatingwaterqualitystandards.Theseefficiencyrateswerenotsupportedbyavailableliteratureorexamples.DespiteobstaclesGLIFWCandtribalstaffwereabletoprovideextensivecommentsonmanyofthedatapackagesandmanagementplansusedindevelopingtheSDEIS.In2013staffbegandevelopingindependentanalysisoftheprojectforinclusionintheSDEIS.TheSDEISreleasedinNovemberof2013wasnotableinthatitincludedachapterChapter8thatwasdevotedentirelytodetailingthemajordifferencesofopinionbetweenthetribalagenciesandtheleadagenciesonthepotentialimpactsoftheproject.SDEISAppendixCincludedsupportingmaterialsandindependentanalysispreparedbythecooperatingtribesandthetwointertribalagenciesonbaselinehydrologywaterqualityandperpetualtreatmentcumulativeimpactsmercuryimpactswildricedewateringofwetlandsnoiseandvibrationimpactstoculturalresourcesandalternativestothemineplan.NewissuesariseAfterthereleaseoftheSDEISGLIFWCstaffidentifiedadditionalissuesthathadnotbeencommentedonpreviously.ForexamplenewinformationfromtheMNDNRconfirmedGLIFWCscontentionfirstarticulatedin2008thathydrologyattheminesitewasnotwellcharacterizedandthattheamountofwatermovingthroughthesystemwasunderestimatedbyafactorofapproximatelythree.Theimplicationsofthiserrorweresubstantialinthatitcastdoubtoncalculationsofsurfaceandgroundwaterimpactfromminepitdewateringwatertreatmentneedsandtheassumptionthatwetlandsarenotconnectedtogroundwater.InreviewingtheSDEISsectionsdealingwiththehydrologyofthetailingsbasinareastaffdiscoveredthatinaccurategeologyhadbeenusedinthemodelthatwasusedtopredictseepageratesatthetailingsbasin.ThiscastdoubtontheestimatesintheSDEISofseepageflowratesandflowdirectionsfromthetailingsbasins.Becauseofthisthetransportofcontaminantstosurfacewaterstotheeastofthetailingsbasinswasnotconsidered.Researchintothefunctioningofseepagecapturesys-temsatotherprojectsintheUnitedStatesledGLIFWCtoquestiontheefficiencyoftheengineeredseepagecapturesystemsandpointoutthatthesesystemsmustfunctioninperpetuity.Withoutnearlycompletecaptureofseepagefromtheprojectwaterqualitystandardsinsurroundingsurfaceandgroundwaterwouldbeviolated.TowardsafnalEISAtthistimetheleadagenciesaresortingthroughapproximately50000commentssubmittedbythepublicandtribalstateandfederalagencies.Oncethecommentsaresortedtheleadagencieswillevaluatethecommentsanddraftresponses.FinallyanyadditionalanalysisandordatacollectionpromptedbythecommentswillbeplannedandexecutedpriortothereleaseoftheFinalEnviron-mentalImpactStatementFEIS.ThroughoutthePolyMetEISprocessGLIFWCandtribalstaffhaveworkedcloselywiththefederalandstateagenciestodevelopabetterunderstandingofthepotentialimpactsoftheproject.ThatcooperationhasresultedinthecollectionofadditionalwaterqualitydataforgroundwaterandthesmallerpublicwatersintheareaidentificationofwaterssubjecttotheMinnesota10mgLsulfatestandardestablishmentofwaterqualityevaluationandcompliancepointsatmostofthepublicwatersintheareamonitoringofthetransportationcorridorsforspillageoforeandreevaluationofthequantityofflowinthePartridgeRiver.GLIFWCstaffwillcontinuetoworkwithtribesandwithstateandfederalagenciestoassesstheenvironmentalimpactsofthisprojectandtheimplicationsofthoseimpactsontreatyrightsandresources.NortherniskigamiziganContinuedfrompage7MeltwaterjumpedthebanksofBadRiverinmid-Aprilandendedtheseasonwithahurriedwithdrawalbackuptheslipperybank.Intheendtheydrew600gallonsofsugarywaterfromthemaplesmaking16gallonsofprizedsyrupforfamilyandfriends.SaidWigginsafterbottlingthelastquartinaglassjarWhenthatsyrupisinyourhandthatssomething.InvasiveplantsContinuedfrompage7ThisprojecthasenhancedthecapacityofGLIFWCstafftounderstandandevaluatetherelativethreatsofinvasiveplantstoculturallyimportantnativeplantspecies.Atotalof23invasivespeciesmodels12nativemodelsand16invasivenativeco-occurrencemodelswerecreated.ThemodelsmetadataandfinalreportareavailableonGLIFWCswebsiteathttpinvasives.glifwc.orgmodels.GLIFWCassessesimpactofPolymetproposalontreatyrightsresourcesContinuedfrompage6NorthfaceoftheLingTemcoVoughtLTVtailingsbasin.PolyMetwoulddeposititstailingsontopofthisexistingbasin.Thousandsofgallonsperminuteofhighsulfatewateriscurrentlyseepingoutofthisfacilityandintothesurroundingwetlandsandstreams.IfPolyMettailingsaredepositedonthetopwaterfromthosetailingswouldseepoutaswell.Aseepagecapturesystemisproposedtotrytolimitthatdischarge.LingTemcoVoughtLTVEmergencyoverowbasin.PolyMetproposestodisposeofitshydrometallurgicaltailingsatthislocation.Thehydrometallurgicaltailingsarethemosthazardousandreactivematerialsthatwouldbeproducedatthemineandwouldrequireperpetualmaintenancetopreventenvironmentaldamageinthiswetenvironment.FindusonFacebookhttpswww.facebook.comGLIFWC