I just got off the phone with Joe Maki, head of the mining division of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). I asked him how many public comments his office received on Aquila’s Back 40 mine permit application. He said he didn’t know. His office logged the comments on a database but there was no tally. I said if the comments were on a database, it should be easy enough to come up with a total number. “No.” He said if I wanted to submit a Freedom of Information Act request, I could pay for copies of the documents and do my own tally.
The worst nuclear accident in history occurred five years ago at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant in Japan.
After an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, three out of four reactors on the site melted down and a hydrogen explosion released deadly radiation into the atmosphere. Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, were recently indicted for criminal negligence for failing to take action to prevent damage to the nuclear plant from a tsunami. Experts had warned Tepco about the dangers of an earthquake and a tsunami hitting the plant in June 2009.
In case you missed the big news over the holidays, Aquila Resources is once again seeking permits from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for its Back Forty open pit metallic sulfide mine next to the Menominee River. The project had been suspended in July 2012 when Hudbay Minerals of Canada (51% owner of the Back Forty project) pulled out of the partnership with Aquila (49% owner of the project).