To the Journal editor:
First point is the EPA did not kill the Marquette County Road 595 project. Neither did the MDEQ. It died because it did not satisfy the legal environmental requirements.
But the really good news came from Dan Blondeau, KEMC spokesperson, when, after bemoaning the demise of the County Road 595 project, he told us, "Our focus now turns to existing trucking routes as we originally outlined in our mine permit application".
It took a while to locate that document, dated Feb. 14, 2006, but on page 21 we found the originally specified route, as follows:
East on Triple A road, 9 miles to County Road 510. East on County Road 510, approximately 3 miles to County Road 550; south on County Road 550 approximately 20 miles to a railhead in the vicinity of Marquette.
We have thus come full-circle, so to speak, back to the optimum haul road, the alternative route which was omitted from the recent list of alternatives.
It is the shortest, simplest, cheapest, least disruptive way to get that high-grade direct-shipping ore on its way to refinery and market and Michigan will not have the traffic problems, the maintenance or the tailings disposal problem on its hands for ever. Even the sulfur and the iron content are marketable!
Let us give thanks to whomever is really in charge!