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KBIC gets funding to address water pollution

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BARAGA, MI— The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $75,000 to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community for pollution assessment.

The money will be used to provide support to identify legacy and current environmental pollutants in the community, conduct an environmental risk assessment, and develop materials to distribute project findings.

Officials say environmental pollution that harms water quality can pose higher risks to tribes like the KBIC, who harvest significant amounts of native fish species and use water during ceremonies and other cultural practices.

The area around the L’Anse reservation is subject to possible contaminants from a mixed-fuel power plant, and legacy pollution from past copper mining operations have left contaminated byproducts that include heavy metals, coal tars, nitrates and ammonia compounds.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.