UPPER PENINSULA — On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointees to a new committee on mining. Many of those appointed are from the Upper Peninsula.
The Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future will be in charge of recommending legislature and policies to improve mining practices in the state. The committee will also be focused on how mining as an industry can better work with communities.
Among the several members of this new committee from the Upper Peninsula, Chad Korpi of United Steelworkers says it makes a lot of sense for so many appointees to be from the U.P., considering the area’s rich mining history.
“Mining primarily is up here in our market, Iron Range,” said Korpi. “That’s where it started over 170 years ago. So it’s important that the core group of people that are advisors of this committee come from this area and understand mining, what it’s about, what it takes to get it done, and how to do it safely while being friendly to the environment.”
Deborah Pellow is one of the other individuals appointed to this new committee. Pellow has had an extensive career in the municipal government of Tilden Township. She says that her experience allows her to bring a unique perspective to this committee, and she hopes to find a middle ground for the mining industry and the community.
“I’ve been involved in politics and local government for over 28 years,” said Pellow. “So I think that I can bring a good perspective on how we can meet in the middle and make this work for everybody. That way we can make it not a hardship for the haulers who need this gravel and sand and iron ore and copper, yet also take care of our community and our environment and our residence. We can make sure it’s productive and prosperous for everybody to extract this stuff and be able to use it without hurting the environment or hurting our communities where it just happens to be.”
In a press release sent out by State Representative Sara Cambensy’s office, the Representative said, “Michiganders should be very pleased with the governor’s appointments to the Committee on Michigan’s Mining Future today. I have no doubt that these high–caliber professionals will deliver 21st century, science–based economic and environmental recommendations to lawmakers, so we know Michigan’s challenges and opportunities, in order to develop a long–term vision for mining and the strategies necessary to achieve it.”