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Dozens protest Menominee County mine

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 20:06:34-05

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The opposition to Aquila's Back Forty, a mine project proposed for Menominee county Michigan is growing. Today protestors gathered along the Menominee River in Marinette Wisconsin after Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality approved two permits for the mine to go forward on Wednesday. NBC26 has the details from today's rally.

Members of the Menominee Nation and environmentalists alike gathered today along the Michigan/Wisconsin border in Marinette.

"I think the message is you know standing in unity with our natural world, our river, our animals and our plants here. And our relatives up here in Menominee, Michigan," says Anahkwet Reiter a protestor and member of the Protectors of the Menominee River.

The concern on the minds of many is the same.

"If we don't save this, it will be gone, destroyed," says Regina Shaltry a protestor and member of Friends of the Menominee River.

Concerns of many here circle around the potential environmental impact that a mine upstream, could have on the Menominee River as a whole.

"Sulfer kills everything in the water, kills everything on the land. It eventually will kill the animals because they eat and drink from the source," says Tammie Kruse of Marinette who joined the protest today.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality has already approved two permits for the mine to move forward. Stating that these decisions come after comprehensive and detailed reviews of the applications and careful consideration... But that doesn't sit well with many here protesting.

"I would be naive to say that I didn't expect this. Michigan is kind of a pro-mining state so we kinda expected that," adds Reiter.

And while these protestors likely have a long road ahead going toe to toe with a major corporation and the state, they say they're in it for the long haul.

"Anything is possible," says Reiter.

"I think we can overcome them," adds Kruse.

In the months ahead these protestors say they plan on continuing their opposition to the mine and to continue reminding others that the state of Michigan has not green lighted the mine just yet.

Officials say no mining or site preparation can move forward on this mining operation until an additional two permits are acquired. Those permits relate to the potential impacts that the Back Forty project could have on the environment.

 

Original Story...

Dozens of people rallied along the Michigan-Wisconsin border today to protest a mine being established up stream. 

Protestors say the mine could devastate the Menominee River.

While the establishment of a mine in Menominee County, Michigan hasn't been given the green light yet, it is getting closer.

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality has approved two permits so far for the mine to move forward.

The department says further decisions will come after a comprehensive review of the applications and careful consideration.