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Tribe critical of mine has own pollution issues

Published On: Feb 27 2013 12:52:41 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Federal records show a Lake Superior Chippewa band critical about the possible environmental impact of a proposed iron ore mine in northwestern Wisconsin has its own pollution issues.

The Bad River Band has had numerous violations of water quality standards at its wastewater treatment plant which serves Odanah in Bayfield County. Excessive levels of E. coli and phosphorus were first reported by Media Trackers, an organization that does research for conservative causes.

The Bad River's plant is currently operating without a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Tribal chairman Mike Wiggins Jr. told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that much of the problem is due to human error and poor reporting. He said the tribe's water testing downstream from the treatment plant shows it's safe for consumption.

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