Hearing set on Eagle Mine permit changes

MARQUETTE – Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials will hold an air quality permit public hearing and comment period for Rio Tinto’s Eagle Mine project Tuesday at Northern Michigan University.

The mining company has made several changes on-site since its original air use permit application was approved in 2007. Some of the modifications listed by the DEQ included eliminating on-site ore crushing, adding an enclosed aggregate storage building and eliminating a fabric filter dust collector.

An informational session and public hearing will be in the Huron Room of the University Center at Northern Michigan University. The information period will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. DEQ staff will be available to answer questions. The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

“The sole purpose of the hearing will be to take formal testimony on the record,” the DEQ said in its hearing announcement. “During testimony, questions will not be answered; however, staff will be available to answer questions outside the hearing room.”

A written public comment period is in effect on the draft permit conditions, which is required by state and federal regulations.

Written comments received during the comment period will be considered in the final permit decision.

Mail comments by Tuesday to: Mary Ann Dolehanty, Permit Section Supervisor, Michigan DEQ, Air Quality Division, P.O. Box 30260, Lansing, Michigan, 48909-7760. Comments may also be submitted at the website www.deq.state.mi.us/aps/cwerp.shtml. (click on “Submit Comment” under the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine LLC, Permit to Install No. 50-06B listing).

After resolving any issues raised during the public comment period and the hearing, a final decision will be made by the DEQ on the permit application.

For more information, visit the website at www.deq.state.mi.us/aps/cwerp.shtml.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.