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Theconfirmedpresenceofasbesti-formgruneriteinbedrockaddstoalistofconcernsaboutGogebicTaconitesGTacproposedminethatstretchesalongfourmilesatopthePenokeeHillsinthecededterritoryofnorthernWisconsin.Thepotentialofgruneritefibersenteringtheairorwaterduringminingoperationsraisesanotherredflagbecauseminingorprocessingasbestosmineralscanliberateisolatedfibersorfiberbundlesintotheairandexposuretoasbestoscanposetheriskofdevelopingmesotheliomaaformoflungcancerorotherformsofcancerinhumansaswellaswildlife.TheoccurrenceofthegruneriteinthePenokeeshasactuallybeendocumentedforsometimeaccordingtoGLIFWCEnvironmentalSectionLeaderDr.JohnColeman.HoweverasamplefoundbyaWisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResourcesWDNRgeologistattheBulkSampleSite4BSS4thisspringstimulatedmoreinterestintheextentofthegruneriteoccurrenceintheminesitesbedrock.Inmid-OctoberNorthlandCollegeGeologistTomFitzwaspartofateamthatfoundasbestiformgruneritewithinbedrockoutcroppingsinfourlocationsintheIronwoodironformationonthewesternendofGTacsproposedmine.Theoutcropsextend.29mileswestofBSS4accordingtoFitzbutitisyetunknownifitalsoreacheseastoftheBSS4site.seemapMoreneedstoresearchedhesaystodeterminefurtherlocationsandconcentrationsofgrunerite.Fitzsaysnotallgruneriteisconsidereddangeroussotheissueofsizeandshapebecomesimportant.Ifitislongnarrowandneedle-likeitisconsideredamoredangerousform.InregardtowhatheobservedFitzsaysItisclearthatitislongandslenderandgivesusreasontothinkitcouldbedangerous.Weneedtoknowmore.ThepotentialofreleasedasbestosfiberswasoneofmanyconcernsexpressedbytheBadRiverBandofOjibweincommentsregardingGTacsbulksamplingpermit.InanOctober22lettertotheWDNRBadRiverEnvironmentalSpecialistCyrusHesterurgedthatGTacdocumenttheamountandextentofasbestosandprovidesufficientevidencethatthebulksamplingoperationsatsites3Aand4willnotexceedthepermissibleexposurelimitsforairborneasbestosfibersestablishedbytheMineSafetyandHealthAdministration.BySueEricksonStaffWriterAsbestosenterstheminingpictureinthePenokeeHillsThenewSenateBill349tolimitlocalcontrolonairandwaterqualityWisconsinSenateBill349authoredbySen.TomTiffanyR-HazelhurstandRep.JoanBallwegR-Markesanwouldrestrictlocalcontroloverminingoperations.AccordingtoareportintheOctober25editionoftheCapTimesthebillwouldretroactivelynullifylicensingagreementsbetweentownscitiesandcountiesandfracsandcompaniestomonitorsilicadustlevelsonorneartheborderoftheirproperty.Themeasurewouldalsopreventmunicipalitiesandcountiesfromimposinganyregu-lationsonairandwaterforanyindustrynotjustfracsandminingmovingforward.OneAppealonEagleMinepermitrejectedMichiganAfederalcourtofappealsrejectedanappealbytheHuronMoun-tainClubHMCwhichchallengedthestatepermitthatallowsfortheuseofsulfideminingtoextractcopperandnickelattheEagleMinesiteintheUpperPeninsulaofMichigan.AccordingtoJessicaKoskiKeweenawBayminingtechnicalassistantinMay2012HMCsuedtheU.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineersforfailingtorequirefederalpermitsforconstructionoftheminetunnelbeneaththeSalmonTroutRiver.HMCsclaimswererejectedandHMCappealedtothe6thCircuitCourtofAppealsinwhichargumentswereheardinAugust2013andnowrecentlyrejected.ThemineisownedbytheCanadianfirmLundinMiningCorporationwhichintendstobeginproductioninaboutayear.KBICappealonEagleminepermitlingersoverayearMich.NomovementisapparentintheMichiganCourtofAppealsonKeweenawBayIndianCommunitysKBICchallengetothestateissuanceofagroundwaterdischargepermitfortheEagleMine.AccordingtoJessicaKoskiKBICminingtechnicalassistantinDecember2007theMichiganDepartmentofEnvironmentalQualityMDEQapprovedaseriesofpermitsfortheEagleMine.ShortlythereafterKBICalongwiththeNationalWildlifeFederationHuronMountainClubandYellowDogWatershedPreservefiledacontestedcaseappealingtheissuanceoftheminingpermitandagroundwaterdischargepermit.InAugust2009anadministrativelawjudgeaffirmedthepermitswithanexceptionrecommendingtheavoidanceofdirectimpactstoEagleRockaplaceofspiritualandculturalsignificancetotheKBIC.HowevertheMDEQsubsequentlyignoredthisrecommendationundertheperspectivethatplacesofworshipmusthaveabuiltstructure.InMarch2010plaintiffsKBICanditspartnerorganizationsfiledanappealandinNovember2011anInghamCountyCircuitCourtjudgeruledthattheminingandgroundwaterdischargepermitswerelawful.InDecember2011theplaintiffsthenfiledamotionwiththeMichiganCourtofAppeals.InApril2012theCourtofAppealsagreedtohearthecase.Briefshavebeenfiledbutnohearingdatehasbeenscheduledyet.OnemoreappealbyHuronMountainClubMich.InOctober2013HuronMountainClubfiledanadditionalsuitagainsttheMichiganDepartmentofEnvironmentalQualityforapprovingarevisedairqual-itypermitfortheEagleMine.HumboldtMillinMichiganunderinvestigationbyEPAMich.TheHumboldtMillsiteiscurrentlyunderinvestigationbytheU.S.EnvironmentalProtectionAgencyasapotentialSuperfundSiteeligibleforlistingontheNationalPrioritiesListduetohistoricalminingwasteandcontaminationaf-fectingnearbywetlandsandthemiddlebranchoftheEscanabaRiver.ItisuncertainhowthisinvestigationandEPAfindingsmaybeconsideredorinfluencecurrentandfuturepermitsandoperationsatthesite.InJanuary2010RioTintoreceivedpermitstorefurbishandoperatetheHumboldtMill.OnJuly172013RioTintosoldtheEagleMineandHumboldtMilltoLundinMiningCorporationofTorontoCanada.Thenewcompanyhascontinuedconstructionatthemineandprimarilyatthemillandplanstostartproductionbytheendof2014orearly2015.InformationfromJessicaKoskiKBICminingtechnicalassistantMiningNewsBriefsGruneriterockphotographedattheBulkSampleSite4attheproposedtaconiteminesite.PhotobyJohnColemanMapbyCyrusHesterBadRiverenvironmentalspecialist.MAZINAIGANPAGE12MIConcernsoverofGTacminein