´╗┐ Peshtigo Times Wisconsin Community Newspaper
space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From My Window
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Area Gridders Eager For Action
* WIAA Task Force Meets on Realignment Process
* WIAA Board Elects Officers; Votes on Action Items
* Bonus Turkey Harvest Authorizations On-Sale
* Championship Men's League at LRCC Set for Aug. 20th

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Back 40 Mine Arguments In Federal Court Aug. 1

Issue Date: August 2, 2018

Judge William C. Griesbach in U.S. Eastern District Court in Green Bay will hear arguments for and against issuance of permits for the controversial Back Forty Mine at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The hearing is one of the steps in settling a lawsuit brought by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin against the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At issue is Aquila Resources,Inc. proposal to build a large, open-pit mine and minerals-processing facility near the banks of the Menominee River in Stephenson Township, Mich., on land that tribal spokesmen say should be protected. The site reportedly is an area of historic significance to the Menominee Tribe, and among other things, once contained raised garden beds built by the Menominee Tribe when it was their homeland.

Opponents of the mine say the sulfide mine operation will adversely affect wetlands next to the Menominee River, as well as the river itself, and also will adversely affect numerous sites of cultural and historic significance to the Tribe.

The mine site is about 15 miles upstream from the cities of Marinette and Menominee and the mouth of the river into Green Bay.

 Represented by Earthjustice and tribal attorneys, the Tribe filed suit in January of 2018, charging that the federal agencies have abandoned their obligation under the Clean Water Act to exercise jurisdiction over wetland permits for the mine.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued the needed permits and plans to construct the mine are in progress.

The Tribe asserts that by allowing the State of Michigan to oversee what should have been a federal permitting process, the federal agencies are violating requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Both federal agencies and Aquila Resources, Inc. have asked that the Tribe's lawsuit be dismissed. In the proceedings on Wednesday afternoon Judge Griesbach will hear oral arguments on the dismissal requests.

Those representing the Menominee Tribe's interests include Earthjustice Attorney Janette Brimmer; Attorney Lindzey Spice, for the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and Melissa Cook, intergovernmental affairs manager for the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin. 

 Menominee Tribal Chairman Doug Cox and other members of the Tribal Legislature are expected to attend Wednesday afternoon's proceedings  in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Jefferson Court Building, Room 102, at 125 S. Jefferson Street in Green Bay.

There has been strong local opposition to the mine, particularly from the Wisconsin side of the Menominee River, which is also the border between Michigan and Wisconsin.

On June 4, Michigan DEQ announced that it had issued a wetlands permit for the mine, which was the fourth and final permit required from the DEQ before Aquila could begin the project.  The DEQ had previously issued mining, air, and surface water discharge permits.

The news release issued by MDEQ in June states that "based on the advice and guidance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it has issued a wetlands permit for the Aquila Resources Back Forty (Aquila) mining project in the Upper Peninsula."

It went on to say that under the terms of the permit, the DEQ had required Aquila to develop an enhanced groundwater modeling and monitoring plan consistent with industry best-practices for the proposed open-pit mine before permitted mining operations could begin. The site-specific plan must include a wetland water budget model; collection of existing baseline groundwater and wetland data; and annual monitoring data to guard nearby wetlands against potential adverse impacts. The wetland plan must also be adaptive, with additional protective measures required if adverse water or wetland impacts are detected during the life of the project.

Aquila was being required to develop state-of-the-art controls aimed at spill prevention and response to potential pollution releases from the mining operations including, chemicals used and stored on site, and the storage and disposal of waste rock, and develop a closure plan for the mine which includes a plan for returning the waste rock to the pit in a way that eliminates future impacts to surface and ground water.

In May the EPA and Aquila had resolved several objections the EPA had raised about the project, an created an EPA-supported framework which the DEQ followed in drafting the permit.

"Issuance of the permit complies with the statutory required permitting deadline, while allowing Aquila to continue to collect the data necessary to develop improved site-specific models and plans that must be approved by DEQ prior to beginning mining operations," the DEQ news release concluded.

In its own news release issued from company headquarters in Toronto, Canada in June, Aquila announced that it received its wetlands, lakes, and streams permit from the Michigan DEQ for its zinc-and gold-rich Back Forty Project in Michigan. The news release noted the Wetlands Permit was issued inclusive of specific conditions, including those requested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA). There reportedly were 51 pages of conditions listed by the EPA.

"With the issuance by the MDEQ of the Wetlands Permit and the objections of the EPA resolved, Aquila has now received all State and Federal permissions required for the construction and commencement of operations at the Back Forty Project. The Company has already received the three other required State permits which include the Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, and the Air Use Permit to Install," the news release stated.

"This is a very significant milestone for Aquila and substantially completes a robust environmental permitting process in Michigan," said Barry Hildred, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aquila. "We can now focus the Company's resources on the pre-construction phase at Back Forty while considering funding alternatives to complete the development of the mine. I want to thank our entire expanded team for all of their efforts in helping us achieve this significant milestone, and we look forward to building a world-class project in Michigan."

The news release continues,"Aquila will continue its efforts with the State of Michigan and local communities to demonstrate our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable resource development that benefits all stakeholders. The Back Forty Mine will be a safe, disciplined operation that promotes and supports local community socio-economic development and is protective of the environment.

"With the receipt of the Wetlands Permit, Aquila will commence certain pre-construction activities immediately. The Back Forty open pit Feasibility Study is nearing completion, and the Company anticipates publishing the study in the coming months," the news release stated.

It said Aquila's" flagship Back Forty Project" is an open pit volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit with underground potential located along the mineral"Érich Penokean Volcanic Belt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula which contains approximately 1.1 billion pounds of zinc and 1 million ounces of gold and repeated that Aquila had received all State and Federal permissions required for the construction and commencement of operations at the Back Forty Project.

Aquila sources have previously said the proposed Back Forty mine is expected to produce 721 million pounds of zinc, 74 million pounds of copper, 21 million pounds of lead, 4.6 million ounces of silver and 532,000 ounces of gold.

The company and supporters say the mine would provide jobs and an overall economic boost to an area that has depended on mining jobs for generations.

Opponents, who have pledged to continue their opposition, say the open pit sulfide mine will ruin the values of properties in its immediate vicinity on both the Wisconsin and Michigan sides of the river, disrupt tourism, and threaten water quality down river and possibly into Green Bay and Lake Michigan should a breach occur.

Marinette and Oconto County boards, along with numerous other area county and municipal boards and city councils in Wisconsin have adopted resolutions opposing the mine.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
08-16-2018Front Page
Sauve, Dudka Win Marinette Co. Races

08-16-2018Front Page
Winsert Breaks Ground For Another Major Expansion

08-16-2018Front Page
BPM, Inc. Is Considering Wastewater Plant Options

08-16-2018Front Page
Plan Honor Caravan To Escort Wall That Heals

08-16-2018Front Page
New Floor In Peshtigo School May Be Aacer Training Project

08-16-2018Community - Wausaukee
Hundreds at Silver Cliff Fire and Rescue Auxiliary Parade and Picnic

08-16-2018Community - Wausaukee
Michael Schroeder Benefit Set at Wausaukee Sept. 8th

08-16-2018Community - Wausaukee
10th Annual Village of Wausaukee Fall Festival

08-16-2018Community - Wausaukee
Work Day for Marinette Co Fair

08-16-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Continues Plans For Wall That Heals Visit

08-16-2018Community - Crivitz
Wolverine PTO Donates $10,000 for Playground

08-16-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Open House is Aug. 30

08-16-2018Community - Crivitz
Monthly CPR Class at Bellin, Crivitz

08-16-2018Community - Coleman
Pickup Items at Pound Cemetery

08-16-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Department Picnic Profit Was $7,563

08-16-2018Community - Coleman
Dogleg Open Golf Fundraiser at Pound

08-16-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman 1952-58 Classes Reunion

08-16-2018Sports
Area Gridders Eager For Action

08-16-2018Sports
WIAA Task Force Meets on Realignment Process

08-16-2018Sports
WIAA Board Elects Officers; Votes on Action Items

08-16-2018Sports
Bonus Turkey Harvest Authorizations On-Sale

08-16-2018Sports
Championship Men's League at LRCC Set for Aug. 20th

08-16-2018Perspectives
From My Window

08-16-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-16-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

08-16-2018Obituaries
Jeffrey W. Baumler

08-16-2018Obituaries
LaVonne Brazeau

08-16-2018Obituaries
Cindy S. Cole

08-16-2018Obituaries
Brett J. Dessart

08-16-2018Obituaries
Wally Faltynski

08-16-2018Obituaries
Rodney L. Grom

08-16-2018Obituaries
Rich Hanson

08-16-2018Obituaries
Richard L. Holmes

08-16-2018Obituaries
Kristy L. Korth

08-16-2018Obituaries
Genevieve M. Kovnesky

08-16-2018Obituaries
Eleanor L. Lavalley

08-16-2018Obituaries
Arletta R. Laundre

08-16-2018Obituaries
Betty LeTendre

08-16-2018Obituaries
Leocadia M. Metzner

08-16-2018Obituaries
John E. Phillips

08-16-2018Obituaries
Sherry (Wilber) Vorpahl

08-16-2018Obituaries
Lorraine M. Washuleski

08-09-2018Front Page
Marinette National Night Out Enjoyed By Many

08-09-2018Front Page
Court Battles Continue Over Back Forty Mine

08-09-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Council Okays 3% Water Rate Increase

08-09-2018Front Page
OK Plans For Added Officer, Full Time Medical Examiner

08-09-2018Front Page
City Considers Format For Filing Complaints

08-09-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Meeting Aug. 13

08-09-2018Community - Coleman
Joint Municipal Court Lists Recent Court Activity

08-09-2018Community - Coleman
Judge Clifford Patz Attends Trial Seminar

08-09-2018Community - Coleman
James Kobus Memorial Ride Set for Sept. 29

08-09-2018Community - Crivitz
Seek Vietnam Veterans Names for Hall Exhibit

08-09-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Salad Luncheon

08-09-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Recipients of Grant

08-09-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ski Cats Corn Roast Show Aug. 11

08-09-2018Community - Wausaukee
41st Annual Silver Cliff Fire Rescue Parade, Picnic Aug. 11

08-09-2018Community - Wausaukee
Concert Aug. 12 at Athelstane Church

08-09-2018Community - Wausaukee
Under the Lights Entertainment For Wausaukee Enterprises Fundraiser

08-09-2018Sports
Red Wave Battles To 2nd Place In State Tourney

08-09-2018Sports
Son Follows in Father's Footsteps, Wins DNR Trout Stamp Design Contest

08-09-2018Sports
Bonus Antlerless Deer Harvest Authorizations Available Aug 13

08-09-2018Sports
Youth Trap League Benefit Raffle Results

08-09-2018Sports
Enter Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Photo Contest

08-09-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

08-09-2018Perspectives
From My Window

08-09-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-09-2018Obituaries
Gloria J. Behling

08-09-2018Obituaries
William Bertrand

08-09-2018Obituaries
William L. Bristol, Jr.

08-09-2018Obituaries
Mary J. Brown

08-09-2018Obituaries
Daniel J. Eggers

08-09-2018Obituaries
Mary E. Fritz

08-09-2018Obituaries
Wesley L. Henry  

08-09-2018Obituaries
Michael Allen Hirsch

08-09-2018Obituaries
James C. Kobus

08-09-2018Obituaries
Nathaniel LaPlant

08-09-2018Obituaries
Lois Mazur Lemerand

08-09-2018Obituaries
David Grant McDowell

08-09-2018Obituaries
Doris M. Mileski-Engel

08-09-2018Obituaries
Dolores E. Monnette

08-09-2018Obituaries
Ralph E. Peterson

08-09-2018Obituaries
Joseph P. Redmann

08-09-2018Obituaries
Marvin R. Rusch

08-09-2018Obituaries
Gary J. Semrau

08-09-2018Obituaries
Martin "Punk" Techmeier

08-09-2018Obituaries
Linda J. Tessmer

08-09-2018Obituaries
Debra Tickler

08-09-2018Obituaries
Marsha Vara

08-09-2018Obituaries
Audrey M. Yetter

08-02-2018Front Page
Gov. Scott Walker Speaks At Marinette Republican Dinner

08-02-2018Front Page
District Attorney Office Is Finally Fully Staffed

08-02-2018Front Page
Marinette Council Awards REC Center Bid of $989,950

08-02-2018Front Page
Back 40 Mine Arguments In Federal Court Aug. 1

08-02-2018Front Page
National Night Out Set for Aug. 7th

08-02-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School District Receives Safety Grant

08-02-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Historical Lists Raffle Winners

08-02-2018Community - Wausaukee
Legion To Hold Flag Retirement

08-02-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Back To School Program Receives $3,000

08-02-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Member on Mission Trip to Antigua

08-02-2018Community - Crivitz
Names Wanted for The Wall That Heals

08-02-2018Community - Crivitz
20 at Even Monday Cards

08-02-2018Community - Crivitz
Settler's Day Picnic Saturday

08-02-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Board To Meet Aug. 6

08-02-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman 1950 Reunion Aug. 12 at Tradewinds

08-02-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Church Plans Dedication Aug. 12

08-02-2018Sports
Plover Ends Good Marinette Post 39 Season

08-02-2018Sports
Red Wave Play in Tough UP Tourney

08-02-2018Sports
Peshtigo River Bowhunters Summer League Winners

08-02-2018Sports
Koehn Hits Ace at Little River CC

08-02-2018Sports
Little River CC Crowns Junior Club Champions

08-02-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

08-02-2018Perspectives
From My Window

08-02-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-02-2018Obituaries
Stella M. Alexandrowicz

08-02-2018Obituaries
Jeanette F. Baeder

08-02-2018Obituaries
Vernon T. Benning

08-02-2018Obituaries
John D. Compton

08-02-2018Obituaries
Viola E. Fedler

08-02-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Roenfanz Geist

08-02-2018Obituaries
Wesley L. Henry

08-02-2018Obituaries
Claude W. Knuth

08-02-2018Obituaries
David N. Koenig

08-02-2018Obituaries
Ethel M. Larson

08-02-2018Obituaries
Peggy Madden

08-02-2018Obituaries
Neil D. McNulty

08-02-2018Obituaries
David J. McTrusty

08-02-2018Obituaries
John A. Radoll

08-02-2018Obituaries
Ardith J. Rost

08-02-2018Obituaries
Gene W. Staffeldt

08-02-2018Obituaries
William T. Scheller

08-02-2018Obituaries
Juliann M. Martin-Schroedle

08-02-2018Obituaries
Daniel J. Secor

08-02-2018Obituaries
John V. Szymanski

08-02-2018Obituaries
Martin W. Techmeier

08-02-2018Obituaries
Alice R. Warnecke

08-02-2018Obituaries
Nancy A. Welton

07-26-2018Front Page
Bay Area Medical Center Scheduled to Open Aug. 16

07-26-2018Front Page
County Board To Have Busy Session Aug. 31

07-26-2018Front Page
Alwin Resigns Job As Welcome Center Head

07-26-2018Front Page
Wagner Needs New Public Works Director

07-26-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Department Lists Raffle Winners

07-26-2018Community - Coleman
R-Angels Program For School Supplies

07-26-2018Community - Coleman
Trinity Lutheran, Coleman Picnic, Service July 29

07-26-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman 1950 Reunion Aug. 12 at Tradewinds

07-26-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ski Cats 5th at State

07-26-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rescue Squad 9th Annual Ride July 28

07-26-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Salad Luncheon

07-26-2018Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Talk on Beekeeping

07-26-2018Community - Wausaukee
DOT Has Highway Landscapers To Replant, Mow In Wausaukee

07-26-2018Community - Wausaukee
DOT Has Highway Landscapers To Replant, Mow In Wausaukee


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites