Community Environmental Monitoring Program
Independent Evaluation of Rio Tinto's Eagle Mine
Marquette, MI – April 8, 2013
Follow-up monitoring conducted by the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) confirms that the trace amounts of uranium recently detected at the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine are controlled on the mine site. The SWP Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) recently conducted additional monitoring that confirmed the water treatment plant is effectively removing uranium before the water is discharged or recycled back into the mining process.
The Marquette County Community Foundation (MCCF) in cooperation with the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) are pleased to announce an independent community monitoring program for the nickel and copper mining operation, Eagle Mine, located near the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River. The mine is located in Marquette County, Michigan about 10 miles from Lake Superior.
Rio Tinto is providing the Community Foundation with funding ($300,000 annually) to establish an independent program to conduct environmental monitoring related to mining operations. SWP staff will coordinate and implement the actual monitoring program working with universities, contractors and EPA approved laboratories as needed. The MCCF will establish an independent oversight board that will invite representation from the environmental sector, the mining sector, the community at large and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. In addition, the CEMP program is designed to accept third party funding to expand community monitoring, if needed.
The SWP will conduct monitoring at the Eagle Mine, the Humboldt Mill and along approved transportation routes (see map). Monitoring will include; air quality, groundwater, surface water, wildlife, plant life and more. The SWP will share all monitoring results with the public and invite community input including suggestions for additional monitoring. A series of community forums will be held in Marquette, Big Bay, Humboldt Township and Michigamee. Members of the public, community organizations, tribes and others are encouraged to provide recommendations for additional monitoring.