There's been a call to gather data over a longer period of time to see the impact of mining on water bodies near the proposed G-TAC (Gogebic Taconite) mine.
At a recent Iron County Citizen's Forum, Matt Hudson from Northland College in Ashland and Tony Janisch from the Bad River Watershed Association made presentations about the need for more science before a decision is made on mining.
Terry Daulton from the Citizen's Forum says Hudson talked about the need to gather data...
"...Matt Hudson from Northland College talk about the importance of baseline data to establish what kinds of questions the mining company should be answering in the Environmental Impact Statement and try to determine what impacts might happen..."
There are 605 miles of trout streams and 362 miles of designated Outstanding waters, with 19 percent of the watershed in the area adjacent to the proposed mine crossing Iron and Ashland counties. Among them are extensive wild rice beds along Lake Superior.
Hudson told the crowd the mining company needs several years of baseline data to know what the water resources currently possess. But Daulton says the speaker told the crowd the data collected needs to be neutral...
"...he also said if you don't ask the right questions or have the right data modeled it can be manipulated very easily. So we need to look very carefully at the kind of data that is collected...."
Daulton says both speakers said a possible exclusion of the general public from mining lands could make it more difficult to get needed data.
The next Iron County Citizen's Forum is set for October 10 at the Oma town hall with the speaker talking about watershed issues in Minnesota from mining.