While it still concerns some, a good number of the people who attended the DEQ public hearing Tuesday night, supported Kennecott Eagle Mineral Company's plan to turn the Humboldt Mine into a milling site. "The state, current economic times; we don't have the money in Humboldt Township, (to clean it up) and neither does the state," said Humboldt Township Supervisor, Joe Derocha. "We've got a 40-acre Brownfield site. We've got a company coming in to clean it up. We welcome that." Most people who spoke at the hearing supported the mill, but a few had concerns. One man said the mine will taint the water in Humboldt Township. "We have the largest freshwater body in the world," said Iron River resident, Richard Sloat. "And if we can't preserve that for future generations, what are we going to have to offer?" Around 40 people testified in front of the DEQ directors. Tuesday night's hearing was simply about that; listening to final comments before making a decision on four site permits. "This hasn't been a controversial issue, as the actual mine was," said the Director of the Office of Geological Survey, Hal Fitch. "I think we're seeing a reflection of that." The comments will be compiled and reviewed. The DEQ is expected to make a decision on the permits in the next 30 to 60 days. "We've looked at it; at every aspect of it," Fitch said. "The requirements, the statute, and our rules and we feel that it meets those requirements and with those revisions and provisions Kennecott has provided us." If the permits are approved, Kennecott will move ahead with site renovations at the cost of around $80 million dollars.
The permits for the mine site on the Yellow Dog Plains are still pending.