Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision Thursday that a federal underground injection control (UIC) permit is not required for Kennecott Minerals Company to move forward with a proposed sulfide mine in Marquette County, U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) issued the following statement:
"I appreciate the prompt action by the EPA in determining whether a federal permit is needed for the Kennecott project, as well as the agency's timely decision on this matter.
Although EPA has determined a federal permit is not necessary, I encourage Kennecott to continue working to address the concerns of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and other organizations on this project.
With it now clear that the federal government does not have jurisdiction in permitting the mine, it is imperative that the state of Michigan re-evaluate its sulfide mining law to ensure every precaution is being taken to ensure sulfide mining is done safely in Michigan.
We are seeing today in the Gulf of Mexico why it is so important that we have effective enforcement of environmental and safety regulations and adequate financial protections in place to ensure taxpayers are not responsible for cleaning up any pollution that does occur. As plans for this sulfide mine move forward it is my hope that Kennecott and the state of Michigan will heed these lessons and take every precaution possible to keep our workers safe and protect our precious natural resources."