Reaction to seaplanes in Hubbell

This letter is in response to the public hearing that was held by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy hearing on Thursday, May 23, regarding the seaplane airport in Hubbell.

The reason for the public hearing was because of a “misunderstanding” that inconveniently requires the owner and EGLE to present a public comment period on a controversial topic: a loud seaplane airport in Torch Lake. The public hearing is necessary before a permit to operate may be granted. Until the permit is granted, the operation cannot legally proceed.

As many residents on Torch Lake and neighboring communities can attest, this lack of legal permit has not stopped operations. The operator has flown repeated flights to the island since Thursday’s hearing. Similarly, EGLE seems reticent to enforce the laws and regulations that fall under their domain. Is it acceptable to not honor the rule of law in the Copper Country?

Also, according to the news report, Isle Royale Seaplanes director of operations Jon Rector said something to the effect: “for most residents it would be comparable to what they heard from snowmobile or ATV traffic” — this is in regard to the noise. Note the use of the word “most.”

Residents along the western side of the lake have lived for years in a quiet residential neighborhood, but with the intrusion of this seaplane base, they now live on an airplane runway! Just like that.

It’s inconceivable that a disruptive commercial entity can be foisted upon folks without at least the opportunity to petition for regress.

Perhaps our local governing agencies could please afford all resources to correct this dreadful situation.

Stay free.

David Halonen

Torch Lake


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