A private club in the Upper Peninsula has filed a federal lawsuit suit to stop the construction of a new mine in Marquette County. The nickel and copper mine, owned by Kennecott Eagle Minerals, has received permits from the state. But the Huron Mountain Club says the U.S. Army Corps needs to review the project to make sure it doesn't violate the Clean Water Act.
The club owns nearly 20,000 acres of forest downstream from the mine on the Salmon Trout River. The lawsuit says sulfuric acid produced by sulfide mining could pollute the river. And the club is "horror-struck" by the prospect of the watershed collapsing because part of the mine will be dug directly underneath it. The lawsuit also says the federal government needs to consider the potential for damage to Eagle Rock, a site near the entrance to the mine that is sacred to American Indians.
Kennecott says the mine has been extensively reviewed and survived multiple legal challenges going back to 2006. Eagle Mine has been under construction since 2010 and the company says it is 75 percent built.