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GOGEBIC COUNTY — The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a violation notice to Highland Copper Company Inc. for soil erosion and wetlands impacts at sites on road commission property along County Road 519 in Gogebic County. The violation follows environmental damage discovered earlier in the month.
The notice requires Highland Copper Company Inc. to stabilize the site, restore disturbed wetlands, obtain additional permits, and investigate previously used drill sites to determine if other wetlands have been disturbed. There has been no impact found on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)-managed state park lands at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Highland Copper Company Inc. has been conducting exploratory drilling of copper minerals situated beneath the surface of a mile-square section of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, bisected by County Road 519. Drilling ceased on road commission property on April 4 after company officials were made aware of the erosion issues.
Representatives from the MDEQ and DNR are working with Highland Copper Company Inc. officials to ensure operations are in compliance and the violations are corrected.