space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Redbirds Wins Playoff Matchup Over Pulaski
* Bonus Fall Turkey Harvest Tags On-Sale Saturday, August 17th
* WIAA Board Approves 2020 8-Player Football Alignment
* Lindsley Shades Kravlovetz in Norway Speedway Feature Race
* Marinette Shutsdown Shawano With Tenth Inning Double Play

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

Court Battles Continue Over Back Forty Mine

Issue Date: August 9, 2018

Efforts continue on several fronts to halt development of the controversial Back Forty Mine near the banks of the Menominee River in Stephenson Township, Mich., about 15 miles upstream from the cities of Marinette and Menominee and the mouth of the river into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

On June 4 of this year Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced that it had issued a wetlands permit for the mine, which was the fourth and final permit required before Aquila could begin the project.  The MDEQ had previously issued mining, air, and surface water discharge permits.

In U.S. Eastern District Court in Green Bay on Wednesday, Aug. 1, Judge William C. Griesbach heard arguments for and against issuance of permits for the mine. Judge Griesbach is considering the case, and is not expected to announce his decision for several weeks.

Last Wednesday's Federal Court hearing was just one of the steps in settling a lawsuit brought by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin against the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for what they claim was an improper delegation of their permitting responsibilities to the State of Michigan.

Since that hearing, separate petitions for Contested Case Hearings in the State of Michigan have been filed with MDEQ by the locally based non-profit Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc., and the Menominee Tribe of Indians. Both are challenging MDEQ's decision to grant Aquila Resources the wetlands permit.

Opponents of the sulfide mine say the operation will adversely affect wetlands next to the Menominee River and local groundwater on both sides of the river, as well as the river itself and possibly Lake Michigan, as well as adversely impacting numerous sites of cultural and historic significance to the Menominees.

Represented by Earthjustice and tribal attorneys, the Menominees 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.

In court on Aug. 1, attorneys for EPA, the Corps of Engineers and Aquila Resources, Inc. asked that the Tribe's lawsuit be dismissed, and decision on that request is pending.

Attorneys representing the tribe argued that by allowing the State of Michigan to oversee what should have been a federal permitting process, the federal agencies violated requirements of the Clean Water Act.

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 attended the U.S. District Court proceedings 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.

County boards and various municipalities in Marinette, Oconto, Menominee and several other Wisconsin counties overwhelmingly passed resolutions opposing the mine.

On Thursday, Aug. 2, Dale Burie, president of the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc., announced that his organization had filed the contested Case Haring petition, challenging MDEQ's decision to grant Aquila Resources the wetlands permit.

In a news release announcing the petition, Burrie declared, "There has never been a metallic sulfide mine that successfully avoided polluting area water supplies. Since the Menominee River is the Boundary Water between Michigan and Wisconsin, metallic sulfide mining near the river has the grave potential to impact surface and groundwater resources on both sides of the river and damage water quality of the municipal water supplies for the cities of Menominee, Michigan and Marinette, Wisconsin, which in turn threatens human health. The fact that these risks remain unevaluated is evident when looking at 30 pages of conditions that are to be completed before startup."

"In addition to water quality, degrading the Menominee River affects fish and other aquatic life, wildlife, tourism, property values of taxpayers on both sides of the river, and disturbs the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's ancient burial grounds," the news release continues.

Burrie's home borders the Menominee River on the Wisconsin side, in the Wagner area north of Marinette. He said the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that consists solely of volunteers; there are no salaries.

Many Coalition members live directly across the river from the proposed mine site.

"The Coalition represents the interests of individuals and groups concerned about the effects of the proposed Back Forty mine," Burrie said. "The Coalition echoes the opposition voiced by groups such as River Alliance of Wisconsin, the Sierra Club, Freshwater Future, the Front 40 Group, numerous additional environmental organizations and municipalities, as well as thousands of concerned citizens living in Michigan and Wisconsin, in opposition to the proposed Back Forty project."

The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. is represented by environmental attorneys Ted A. Warpinski of Davis & Kuelthau in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Bruce Wallace of Hooper Hathaway in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a news release issued on Monday, Aug. 6, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin announced that on Friday, Aug. 3 it had filed its own petition for a contested case hearing on the DEQ's issuance of the wetlands permit.

Tribal attorneys and Earthjustice attorneys contend granting the permit was contrary to Michigan law and happened in spite of written objections of its own Water Resources Division. The petition argues that the application left out critical information on the river and wetlands system, and is based on promises that the developer would provide information down the road."

Cox, Menominee Tribe chairman, said their tribe had lived in the mine area since time immemorial and the operation will affect areas of historical interest to them, including burial grounds, agricultural sites and ceremonial sites. They also say in its decision to issue the wetlands permit the MDEQ had ignored objections from its own Michigan tribes and members of the public.

The contested case proceedings are reportedly to be handled by an administrative law judge in Michigan.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
08-15-2019Front Page
BPM, Inc. Advances Plans For Water Resource Recovery Facility

08-15-2019Front Page
Pelkin's Piggly Wiggly Is Robbed Saturday

08-15-2019Front Page
Michigan Judge Hears Evidence On Back 40 Mine Permit Appeals

08-15-2019Front Page
Town Seeks Legislator Help On Camp Five Culvert Issues

08-15-2019Front Page
Couple is Lena Dairy Fest Parade Grand Marshals

08-15-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Set For Sept. 9

08-15-2019Community - Wausaukee
Family Packet Pick-Up is Aug. 22-23

08-15-2019Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire & Rescue Picnic was Great Success

08-15-2019Community - Crivitz
Town Committees Meet, Supervisor Solway Resigns

08-15-2019Community - Crivitz
Suicide Awareness Training Aug. 17, 20

08-15-2019Community - Crivitz
Historical Society to Visit Land of Oz Museum

08-15-2019Community - Crivitz
Fall Conference at Crivitz Sept. 21st

08-15-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman/Pound Lioness Club Receives $1000 Grant

08-15-2019Community - Coleman
9th Dogleg Open Golf Outing for MS

08-15-2019Community - Coleman
Oconto Historical 10th Cemetery Walk Sept. 17-19

08-15-2019Community - Coleman
Chute Pond Snomo Club Raises Funds for Trail Repair

08-15-2019Sports
Redbirds Wins Playoff Matchup Over Pulaski

08-15-2019Sports
Bonus Fall Turkey Harvest Tags On-Sale Saturday, August 17th

08-15-2019Sports
WIAA Board Approves 2020 8-Player Football Alignment

08-15-2019Sports
Lindsley Shades Kravlovetz in Norway Speedway Feature Race

08-15-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

08-15-2019Perspectives
From My Window

08-15-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-15-2019Obituaries
Patricia Aderman

08-15-2019Obituaries
Charles T. Aucutt

08-15-2019Obituaries
Gloria A. Blankschien

08-15-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Brasure

08-15-2019Obituaries
Patrick E. Caebe

08-15-2019Obituaries
Carol L. Engles-Welzien

08-15-2019Obituaries
Pearl Erdman

08-15-2019Obituaries
Gary G. Hasenfus

08-15-2019Obituaries
Michele Heller

08-15-2019Obituaries
Linda M. Hemminger

08-15-2019Obituaries
Connor R. Kellogg

08-15-2019Obituaries
John W. Klescewski

08-15-2019Obituaries
James J. Lasley

08-15-2019Obituaries
Carol A. Montour

08-15-2019Obituaries
Max F. Osmanski

08-15-2019Obituaries
Henry C. Porras III

08-15-2019Obituaries
Richard A. Race

08-15-2019Obituaries
Tyler J. Seid

08-15-2019Obituaries
Beverly S. Smith 

08-15-2019Obituaries
Dennis L. Strojny

08-15-2019Obituaries
Daniel Votava

08-08-2019


08-08-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Okays Dismissal Of Parks And Rec Director

08-08-2019Front Page
Strong Thunder Storm Rips Through Peshtigo

08-08-2019Front Page
Speakers Scold Mayor For Personnel Handling

08-08-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Sets 5-Year Plan For Street Improvements

08-08-2019Front Page
Ryan Philipps Charged With Attempted Murder

08-08-2019Community - Wausaukee
SC Auxiliary Finalizes Aug. 10 Picnic Plans

08-08-2019Community - Wausaukee
Packerland Broadband Ruran Internet Now Astrea

08-08-2019Community - Wausaukee
Under Ice Beaver Trapping Demo Aug. 8

08-08-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Sept. 9th

08-08-2019Community - Crivitz
Northwoods Apostolic Fall Town Hall Tour

08-08-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Youth Football Registration Aug. 12

08-08-2019Community - Crivitz
U.S. News Ranks 5th Hospital in State

08-08-2019Community - Crivitz
Friends of Crivitz Airport Get Together

08-08-2019Community - Coleman
CCBA Sell-A-Bration in Coleman Sept. 21

08-08-2019Community - Coleman
Snapshot Day for Aquatic Invasive Species

08-08-2019Community - Coleman
Six Performances of "Sister Act" at Oconto Falls

08-08-2019Community - Coleman
List Winners of Coleman Fire Department Picnic

08-08-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

08-08-2019Perspectives
From My Window

08-08-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-08-2019Sports
Marinette Shutsdown Shawano With Tenth Inning Double Play

08-08-2019Sports
Peshtigo Middle School Lists Fall Sports Practices

08-08-2019Sports
M&M Stingrays Compete at State Swim Meet

08-08-2019Sports
Football Practice Launches Fall Sport Seasons Preparations

08-08-2019Obituaries
Lucille L. Coppens

08-08-2019Obituaries
Lois Dudkiewicz

08-08-2019Obituaries
Doris Evrard

08-08-2019Obituaries
Fred C. Fleischfresser

08-08-2019Obituaries
James B. Fredrickson

08-08-2019Obituaries
Warren A. Grenier

08-08-2019Obituaries
Laura E. Huffman

08-08-2019Obituaries
Marlene A. Jagiello

08-08-2019Obituaries
Margaret Neilio

08-08-2019Obituaries
Ruth A. Paulsen  

08-08-2019Obituaries
Nicholas J. Racsek

08-08-2019Obituaries
Jerome A. Rouse

08-08-2019Obituaries
Zachary D. Rusch

08-08-2019Obituaries
Arthur Schmittinger

08-08-2019Obituaries
Donald M. Tenarvitz

08-08-2019Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Tickler

08-08-2019Obituaries
Wayne W. Wosnick

07-31-2019Front Page


07-31-2019Front Page
County Agrees to Keep ATV/UTV Routes Open

07-31-2019Front Page
County Board Takes No Action On Twin Bridge Beach

07-31-2019Front Page
Plea Agreement In Pembine Homicide

07-31-2019Front Page
Jane Kopish Sequin Candidate for Judge

07-31-2019Sports
Legion State Tourney Ends Early For Marinette Post 39

07-31-2019Sports
Lena's 1st Dirt City Duel Has Successful Weekend

07-31-2019Sports
MCC/STAA 15th Annual Softball Game Aug. 3

07-31-2019Sports
Lindsley Strikes Again, Wrangles Norway Speedway Late Model Win

07-31-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Fall Festival Planning Meeting Aug. 1

07-31-2019Community - Wausaukee
WHS Activity Code Aug. 5th

07-31-2019Community - Wausaukee
Matriarchs To Lunch at Luigi's

07-31-2019Community - Crivitz
Many Citizens Help Search for Missing Prop

07-31-2019Community - Crivitz
Missionaries to Speak at Crivitz Bible Fellowship

07-31-2019Community - Crivitz
Faith Sponsors Driving Course

07-31-2019Community - Crivitz
CAWC Make More Donations

07-31-2019Community - Coleman
CCBA Sell-A-Bration in Coleman Sept. 21

07-31-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Flag Football Sign-ups on Aug. 7th

07-31-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Has Mexican Store

07-31-2019Community - Coleman
Ongoing Research of Purple Martins at Oconto

07-31-2019Perspectives
From My Window

07-31-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-31-2019Obituaries
Susan L. Atwood

07-31-2019Obituaries
Daniel L. Gottschalk

07-31-2019Obituaries
 William Guffey

07-31-2019Obituaries
Ann L. Huffman

07-31-2019Obituaries
Robert F. Jandt

07-31-2019Obituaries
William Kremer

07-31-2019Obituaries
Robyn L. LaValley

07-31-2019Obituaries
Sandra Noack

07-31-2019Obituaries
Sasha Orzel

07-31-2019Obituaries
Michael Pichette

07-31-2019Obituaries
Ann M. Schwarz

07-31-2019Obituaries
Barbara A. Seefeldt

07-31-2019Obituaries
Carol M. Thoney

07-31-2019Obituaries
Kimberly A. Wingers

07-31-2019Obituaries
Joan R. Woelfel

07-30-2019Obituaries
Thomas E. Audit   

07-30-2019Obituaries
Clifford R. Cosson

07-30-2019Obituaries
Bess J. Desjardin

07-30-2019Obituaries
Virginia M. Garrigan

07-30-2019Obituaries
Wayron Ginn

07-30-2019Obituaries
Mary T. Hofer

07-30-2019Obituaries
Everett Hurst 

07-30-2019Obituaries
Bertil K. Johnson

07-30-2019Obituaries
Donald C. Kloida

07-30-2019Obituaries
Charles LaCoy

07-30-2019Obituaries
Walter T. Lahay

07-30-2019Obituaries
Leo L. Lemery

07-30-2019Obituaries
William Mulzer    

07-30-2019Obituaries
Stephen Potier

07-30-2019Obituaries
Roger W. Reese 

07-30-2019Obituaries
Ronald R. Roskams

07-30-2019Obituaries
Joyce M. Seewald

07-30-2019Obituaries
Mildred M. Surk

07-30-2019Obituaries
Bonnie J. Theisen

07-30-2019Obituaries
Susan A. Thomas

07-30-2019Obituaries
Gerald V. Thull

07-30-2019Obituaries
Daniel Votava

07-30-2019Obituaries
Dale F. Welch

07-30-2019Obituaries
Barb L. Wendland

07-30-2019Obituaries
Nicholas S. Witt

07-30-2019Obituaries
Joseph Wysocki

07-25-2019Front Page



space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will have a successful season with their new head coach?
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
© 2000-2019
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites