News

November 2, 2018

DEQ Issues Modified NPDES Permit for Humboldt Mill

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)  recently issued Eagle Mine a modified National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit authorizing direct effluent discharge from the Humboldt Mill to the Escanaba River (effective November 1, 2018).

CEMP is currently monitoring all of the effluent parameters included in the modified permit as well as nine additional water quality parameters that are not included in the permit.

To view the NPDES permit, click here.

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August 9, 2018

2015-2017 CEMP Berry and Plant Study Report Now Available

During 2015, CEMP monitoring was expanded to evaluate concerns raised by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and other community members regarding potential impacts from mining operations on nearby edible plant species and species of high cultural value. Fruit bearing plants located near the Eagle Mine and the Humboldt Mill were identified as a priority for the study. They include: blueberry, juneberry, chokecherry, pin cherry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, thimbleberry, cranberry, juniper berry, and wild rice. Specific objectives of the monitoring program include:

  • Locate and identify edible and culturally-important plant species in the immediate vicinity/adjacent to the Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill sites.
  • Obtain plant tissue (berries, leaves, and/or roots) for analysis at a certified laboratory.
  • Evaluate concentrations of various metals observed in tissue samples and compare them to US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) oral tolerable intake values (TDI), and/or the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommended Daily Values (DV).
  • Use data/results to monitor short-term and long-term changes that may indicate impacts from mining activities.

The sample set collected during the 2015-2017 field seasons provides baseline data regarding metal concentrations in blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, and wintergreen plants and/or berries collected near the Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill sites. Referencing these data in future years may help to support whether or not bioaccumulation of metals is occurring in these plant species. Due to a small sample size and various other potential confounding factors including regional variation, species specific differences, insufficient length of study, and potential alternate sources of pollution, any differences noted between control and test samples cannot be reliably attributed to mining activities at this time.

A complete data summary report for the 2015-2017 field season can be accessed here.

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May 11, 2018

2017 Split Sampling Summary Now Available

Each year, the SWP carries out split sampling at permit required monitoring sites at the Eagle Mine site and the Humboldt Mill (groundwater, surface water, and facilities) in conjunction with Eagle Mine’s scheduled monitoring. Split sampling is when a sample taken from a single source (ex. a groundwater well) is divided in two, with each sample analyzed by a different certified laboratory. The objective of the split sampling is to verify that  independent lab results corroborate and are representative of environmental conditions. A summary of the split sampling results from 2017 is available here.

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December 6, 2017

CEMP and KBIC Partner to Monitor Water Quality in the Headwaters of the Salmon Trout River

During 2017, CEMP in cooperation with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) began water quality monitoring at 8 sites in the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River. The headwaters of the Salmon Trout River begin as “seeps” or natural springs at locations where groundwater daylights and becomes surface water (see map of sites). Results of the monitoring will be used to assess potential impacts from mining activities to the Salmon Trout River.  Please contact SWP for questions or comments on the additional monitoring locations at (906) 228-6095 ext. 13, or geri@superiorwatersheds.org.

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November 3, 2017

Eagle Mine to host Public Lecture Regarding the Continuing Evolution of the Humboldt Pit

 

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