From Our ReadersIssue Date: May 11, 2022
Letter to the Editor:
MENOMINEE RIVER UPDATE REPORT:
Aquila Resources has transferred their interests in the Back Forty project west of Stephenson, Michigan, to Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) of Denver, CO. Those of you who had purchased Aquila stock have already received your transfer letter informing investors of significantly reduced share numbers and value.
Dr. Al Gedicks, my wife, Lea Jane and I met in-person with Allen Palmiere, CEO, and Kim Perry, CFO, of Gold Resource Corporation, in Menominee, Mich. on April 7th, 2022.
They informed us of their intentions to proceed with plans to revive the Back Forty project. We told them that our position has not changed, and we will continue to challenge every permit application, in court, if necessary.
They were not aware of the eight counties, including Menominee County, that have passed resolutions opposing the Back Forty project.
Allen stated that the Back Forty had all four permits, and Dr. Gedicks corrected him, since the only permit Aquila fully possessed was the NPDES permit for the discharge of 1.52 million gallons of water back into the Menominee River per day. Other permits were not fully granted because they were challenged in legally contested cases. They also did not have the Dam Safety Permit that, according to EGLE of Michigan, is definitely necessary before a shovel ever hits the ground.
After a very thorough two-hour discussion, I asked Allen and Kim to participate in a Public Forum. Allen agreed to participate after the Feasibility Study and the mine design are completed, along with final permission from the Security Exchange Commission.
The format of the Public Forum will be a large venue, with a custom sound system so that everyone can hear the dialog. The panel will consist of Gold Resource representatives, our panel of scientific experts, and other notable guests. All news media will be invited, including TV, radio, newspapers, social media, and prominent documentarians for historical preservation. The public will be invited, and the second half of the Forum will be established for questions from the public.
Because the threat of sulfide mining affects everyone in this watershed, and we all are consumers of clean water, people must have the opportunity to have their questions answered truthfully.
The Coalition continues to stand vigilant to protect the Menominee River.
Submitted by Dale Burie,
Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.
With the recent reelection of the County Board Chairman I suspect not much will change. The once a month meetings have become fairly short. This means many elected officials are making $100 an hour. That's correct. Check the length of the board meetings. With a very large county budget how can they think they are doing a good job meeting once a month for less than 2 hours? It also seems that the members of the county board do not understand that they are the bosses of the county administrator. He seems to do whatever he wants to and they follow him like sheep. Luckily Corporate Council has retired. She tended to give her opinions frequently and not just advise the board legally. After Mark Anderson (former chairman) left the board no one kept her in check for two years. Maybe the new lawyer will do the job properly? Hopefully she is licensed to practice in Michigan too as the previous one was not and that was a costly problem when the board was dealing with Menominee County about issues like the airport. Remember that debacle? It is unlikely we will see a reduction in the size of the board unless a public petition for a referendum on the size of the board is done.
Why hasn't the County Board stepped up to help or even just acknowledged the PFAS issues all over the county, state and country? I think the Town of Peshtigo has been dealing with this for over four years. There are fields scattered all over the county where a great quantity of PFAS sludge was spread by the City of Marinette and City of Peshtigo treatment plants. So far the PFAS has shown up in the testing of people's wells near the fields. Tyco is moving at a snail's pace dealing with it. No doubt hoping the standard set for allowable PFAS in drinking water will be high enough to get them off the hook for many people. Tyco is making the local bottled water supplier a much busier business no doubt. The City of Marinette and City of Peshtigo have not even admitted they helped increase the problems with PFAS all over the county. The City of Marinette does not even appear to want to help the Town of Peshtigo by even just considering selling them water. This I do not understand. Keep in mind the City of Marinette borrowed money at a favorable interest rate from the county for their recreation center. This money was the all the county tax payers money. Money that could have been used for fixing the roads and dealing with the PFAS issues perhaps?
Are you happy knowing all this? I am not and I can assure you from experience that drinking "free" bottled water all the time is not any fun.
Memorial Day Honor
Oh, you didn't know any veterans? "Every veteran should be remembered." Many died with no known family or friends. Nevertheless, they chose or were drafted to serve our country and may have paid the ultimate sacrifice - death in combat, or from wounds from active service, or lived out their lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chemical/biological exposure, disease, psychological trauma from torture, starvation, prisoner of war or survived a number of years thereafter, leaving a legacy in society and yet dying without any relatives or friends.
There are movements to muster up members of the community and veterans groups - to pay homage on Memorial Day, like this tri-county area does...as well as attending funeral services/cremations in lieu of no formal visitations.
The yearly Memorial Day is a very moving experience and, all are welcome to participate in the event in your location (Monday, May 30th). That said, "We should all hope that every person, especially veterans who have given so much of themselves to others, leaves this earth knowing they're not forgotten.
Recent stories, opinions and photos