Hundreds show up to comment against the Back Forty Mine in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality gave the public the chance to voice their opinion on a controversial mine that would be located a mere 150 feet from the Menominee River.

This comes after the MDEQ made a preliminary decision to approve Aquilla Resources Incorporated's permit for an open pit gold, silver, copper and zinc mine back in September.

The overwhelming majority stood up and commented against the mine, however there were some people who showed up to support the mine.

This mine have the Menominee Tribe, environmentalists and people in Wisconsin have voiced concern over and that includes a group of citizens called the Front Forty Project who have opposed the mine since talks started back in 2003.

"The biggest concern we have is the pollution of the Menominee River and the contamination of the Menominee River, the ground water, surface water and the air pollution," said Ron Henriksen of the Front Forty Project.

The people that showed up to support the mine cited the 250 jobs the mine would create and the economic impact to the area.

"Menominee County needs this little push, this little mine isn't going to cure all our ills, but it is certainly going to help," said Wayne Erickson of Menominee County. "I would like to see our shops full, our grocery stores full and our hardware stores full."

Robin Vendor lives across the river in Wisconsin, but would be directly across from where the mine would be located and he is worried about his property values and is stuck because the mine would be in Michigan.

"We can't do anything Michigan is exempt from federal oversight we've been told and they have their own rules," said Vendor. "We are stuck from doing anything, we're hoping public awareness and push back will stop this mine."

Toronto based Aqullia Resources has already invested $70 million into the project and plans to spend an additional $260 million if the permits get finalized.


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