An elderly couple embrace as they pose for a picture while standing in front of a well used for drinking water. The woman, pictured on left, is wearing a pink shirt and bluejeans, while the man is wearing a blue shirt with white text and bluejeans. They're worried that lithium mining will degrade their water quality.

Hugh and Libby Carpenter pose in front of a well located on their property in Cherryville Township. Hugh Carpenter said the land has been in his family since the early 1900s. The Carpenters are concerned that the proposed mining operation will lower the water table in a community where many rely on well water. Credit: Will Atwater

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