At least one tribal leader is optimistic after the recent meetings between Midwest tribes and the EPA this week.
Lac du Flambeau Spokesperson Brandon Thoms says according to tribal President Maulson, the discussions were positive.
“It showed that there’s definitely a willingness between the EPA to work with the tribes, and President Maulson indicated that the tribes are understood that they have a vested interest.”
One topic was the proposed iron mine in the Penokee hills. Wisconsin’s six Chippewa tribes are asking the EPA to intervene and stop the process by invoking a portion of the Clean Water Act.
As Thoms explains, at the meetings Lac du Flambeau President Maulson voiced support for a moratorium on all mining in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota until more proof was offered of its environmental safety.
“Not only was Lac du Flambeau outspoken in opposition to any proposed mining activity in northern Wisconsin, but the Bad River band, tribes from both Minnesota and Michigan also opposed any proposed mining activity.”
The tribes meet with the EPA on a regular basis, multiple times a year.