Fitz Discovers More Asbestos Near GTac Proposed Bulk Sampling Site

October 15, 2013 by Barbara With

Dr. Tom Fitz, geologist with Northland College. Photo: Barbara With

Dr. Tom Fitz, geologist with Northland College. (Barbara With photo)

According to WPR, Northland College Geologist Dr. Tom Fitz has found four more areas around a proposed iron ore mine site in the Penokee Hills that contain high levels of asbestos.

Fitz was one of a a team of independent scientists who released findings last week of abundant amounts of grunerite at Bulk Sampling Site 4. Gogebic Taconite (GTac) claims the asbestos can be contained in their bulk sampling operations, but so far have only repeatedly denied its presence in their permit application.

Fitz was accompanied by Cyrus Hester, environmental director of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Hester warned that this discovery will trigger a detailed investigation into the rock formations.

Fitz will be addressing the Ashland County Mining Impact Committee meeting tomorrow morning to talk about his findings.

In related news, GTac tried to smear Jason Huberty, a Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey geologist, in an article by Lee Bergquist in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Huberty, an expert in the field of iron ore, testified in 2012 about the dangers of pyrite in the ore composition at the proposed mine site. “It raises questions about whether the survey is biased in this area,” said Bob Seitz, a spokesman for Gogebic.

Seitz, as a lobbyist for GTac, was part of the team that purposely covered up GTac’s participation in writing Act 1, the mining bill that strips protections from the land and air and water resources. Seitz repeatedly denied or remained silent when questioned who wrote the mining bill before it passed. Open records requests of the Governor’s Office revealed GTac was writing the bill as early as May 2011.

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