abc
QUICK LINKS:

Asbestos Fiber Found in Rock at Proposed Wis. Mine Site

Updated: 10/08/2013 1:31 PM
Created: 10/08/2013 10:17 AM WDIO.com

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Asbestos mineral fibers have been found in a rock sample from Gogebic Taconite's proposed iron ore mine site in northern Wisconsin, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

But the extent of the mineral, known as grunerite, at the site of the $1.5 billion proposed mine in Ashland and Iron counties is not known, the DNR said.

The presence of asbestos was confirmed by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey recently after a DNR geologist visiting the site last spring suspected the rock contained telltale fibers of the carcinogen.

Gogebic Taconite has been conducting preliminary work as part of its plans to apply for a permit to mine iron ore from a large open pit that could run for 4 miles.

If Gogebic goes ahead with its formal application, it would be required to study the extent of asbestos in the rock, explain how it would control the spread of airborne emissions and how it would be monitored, DNR hydrogeologist Larry Lynch told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"The main concern is airborne particulates," Lynch said. "It will come down to how effective their dust control will be."

Gogebic spokesman Bob Seitz said the company will conduct studies to determine the extent of asbestos in the rock. He said a mining bill passed last spring, and attacked by opponents, included language that mandated the analysis.

University of Minnesota researchers released results of a five-year study earlier this year which found taconite industry workers face an increased risk of contracting mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer, and the risk increases the longer they remain on the job. Researchers also said they couldn't say for certain if dust from iron mining and processing operations caused it.

Sen. Robert Jauch, whose district includes the proposed mine, opposes the project under the mining regulations approved by the Legislature.

The existence of asbestos "raises numerous serious scientific concerns about the geology of the area," Jauch said.

Jauch said he was troubled that Gogebic said in a letter to the DNR in July that it didn't believe grunerite would be found.

Seitz said the company made the comments based on information from consultants and data supplied by U.S. Steel, which conducted exploratory work decades ago.

___

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Front Page

  • Cook County Attorney's Trial Date set for July

    The date for a trial in the criminal sexual conduct case against the Cook County attorney has been set, according to online court records. The five-day trial for Tim Scannell will begin on July 21, with a pretrial hearing on July 7. 

  • Juvenile Correctional Facility Officer Faces Felonies for Alleged Sex with Inmate

    A 23-year-old Grand Rapids man faces five felonies for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old resident of the North Homes Juvenile Correctional Facility.

  • Ex-investment Adviser from Grand Marais Admits to Fraud Scheme

    Michael Drilling of Grand Marais pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of securities fraud. In his plea agreement, Drilling admitted to creating a scheme to defraud his investment advisory clients. Prosecutors say through his company, Financial Advisory Partners LLC, Drilling defrauded several of his clients by stealing over $5.6 million of their investment funds.

  • Packers Help Break Ground on Superior Sports Complex

    There may be fresh snow on the ground, but Superior High School is celebrating the upcoming construction of their new sports complex. After two decades of discussing and planning, the community got help from some special guests wearing green and gold to move the first bit of dirt for the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

  • Challenge: No Electronic Devices

    Kids at the Hermantown Middle School have been living without their favorite electronic devices, texting, and Facebook for a few weeks. It's an effort to improve focus, in advance of some important test scores.

 

Flood Warning

MN AREAS AFFECTED: Aitkin; Crow Wing
Expires: 4/21/2014 7:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement