Air quality issue goes to DEQ

HUMBOLDT – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing in Ishpeming Township tonight on a new air quality permit application for the Humboldt Mill.

The DEQ issued an air permit for the mill in 2010. The mill design has since been refined and Lundin Mining Corp. officials have identified measures they said will reduce estimated overall emissions.

According to the DEQ, proposed modifications include allowing general building ventilation for the Coarse Ore Storage Building and the Concentrate Loadout Building, shortening and paving of an ore truck haul road, changing the number of ore bins, reducing the number and layout of conveyors and increasing the amount of annual ore put through the mill to match limits at the Eagle Mine.

The DEQ requires a new permit application anytime there is a change to the quantity, composition or quality of emissions of a permit.

The purpose of tonight’s public hearing, which will be held in the auditorium of Westwood High School, is solely to take formal testimony on the record.

An information session will be held at 6 p.m. with DEQ staff available to answer questions on the permit application. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

The DEQ had a public comment period open from Nov. 7 to Dec. 9 on the modified permit.