Reaction to Michigan Mining Ballot Petition

The My-Water ballot initiative that would place new restrictions on Michigan mining is creating controversy in the U.P.

The petition needs more than 300,000 signatures statewide to make the November 2010 ballot.

It would add restrictions to state mining laws that were passed in 2004.

Save the Wild U.P. director Kristi Mills says some of the mining techniques that are now commonly used have more potential to harm groundwater than the types of mining the 2004 laws address.

The measure would require mines to stay at least 2,000 feet away from any body of water, along with several other regulations.

Kennecott Eagle Minerals community relations manager Matt Johnson is one of those critics.

He describes the other regulations as impossible to meet.

The U.P. Association of County Commissioners already passed a resolution opposing the initiative.

But Mills says if the measure were put to a vote today, more than half of Marquette County’s residents would vote in favor of it.