Environmental Group Challenges DEQ Wetlands Permit

Local News

An environmental group is asking for a contested case hearing challenging a decision by the State of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ recently granted a wetlands permit that would allow Aquila Resources build an open pit metallic mine next to the Menominee River.

The president of the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Dale Burie, says a sulfide mine could impact surface and groundwater quality in both Wisconsin and Michigan, since the Menominee River is the boundary water between the states.

Burie says the risk to human health remains unevaluated, evidenced by the 30 pages of conditions that are to be completed before the mine can start operating. 

The wetlands permit is the fourth and final permit required from the DEQ before Aquila can begin the project.  The DEQ had previously issued mining, air, and surface water discharge permits for the project.

The proposed mine, called the Back Forty project, would be a 750 feet deep, 83 acre open pit sulfide mine 150 feet from the Menominee River in Stephenson, Michigan, across the river from Marinette County, Wisconsin. 

You can read the petition for the contested case hearing here. 

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