Ashland County may consider banning explosives near rocks with asbestos
By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio
The Ashland County Board may consider a ban on explosives that disturb asbestos in rock formations, including at the proposed iron ore mine site.
Ashland County Board Chairman Pete Russo says he’s getting lots of calls from citizens who are worried about asbestos and mesothelioma, a fatal lung cancer caused by airborne asbestos fibers. Recent reports by Northland College geoscience professor Tom Fitz and the Department of Natural Resources have found that asbestos fibers are in at least part of the ore body that Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) hopes to mine.
The DNR says it needs more information before they know if that ore body is dangerous, while Fitz calls the asbestos lethal.
Russo has called a special meeting of the Mining Impact Committee Wednesday, which will hear testimony from Fitz and the DNR. Then, he says, the committee will consider an ordinance which would ban using explosives on asbestos rock. Read More
- More asbestos-like material found at iron ore mine site, geologist says (jsonline.com)
- Asbestos fiber found in rock at proposed mine site (nbc15.com)