Stop Brine Injection in a Wetland!
An absentee entrepreneur will take fresh water from a Muskegon River watershed and return it dirty.
Michigan Potash Company (MPC) LLC is a large potash solution-mine planned for mid-Michigan. The owner, Ted Pagano, in Colorado, wants permits for 11 injection wells to support this project. At 1200 gallons per minute, 24 hours per day, the fresh water he takes would dwarf that of Nestlé. The mine would pump massive quantities of fresh water underground. This would dissolve salt and potash, bringing them to the surface.
Nestlé is not the only “large water taker" in Michigan. Michigan Potash Company would sink 11 injection wells six miles southwest of them.
Injection wells pump huge quantities of fresh water into deep salt formations. The water dissolves the salts and brings them to the surface. The water is then boiled away to produce both salt (NaCl) and Potash (KCl).
The Michigan Potash Company solution-mine would initially take more water than Nestlé. Then this fresh water loss would rise to unknown levels over time. The aquifers and streams of the area are already drying up. This astronomical pumping rate can, potentially:
• Draw down the water table and dry up local wells
• Cause salt-water to intrude into the aquifer from below
• Dry up local streams, lakes, and wetlands
• Reduce flows to the Muskegon River
This project has struggled to get permits. But Scott Pruitt's EPA brushed aside concerns for aquifer depletion, leaky pipelines, and groundwater contamination. They recently granted permits for 11 deep wells and denied the existence of bald eagles and Trumpeter Swans in Osceola County!
Now seeking state permits, Denver-based Michigan Potash Co. (MPC) is using secrecy provisions of Michigan's Mineral Wells Act. This allows them to hide information from the public. Unofficially, MCWC has learned that the company has applied to the DEQ for 8 well-permits. The DEQ has refused hearings and the release of all information regarding such wells. The mere existence of the application is secret. This legislated secrecy displays the power of Michigan's mining industry.
Meanwhile, Ted Pagano, as MPC's head and only full-time employee, has started aggressive public relations. He's trying to attract $750 million dollars in financing for his scheme. Other companies abandoned potash mining at a safer location nearby. This should make would-be investors leery. But Mr. Pagano's recent potash-mining failure in North Dakota does not bode well. Potash is over capacity worldwide. Potash prices are chronically weak. This site is poorly selected and presents further challenges. It's in the midst of vulnerable aquifers and wetlands and has no rail access.
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Mecosta, MI 49332
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