space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Cougars & Marines Win Conference Titles; Casper & Kretz named Top Golfers
* Area Athletes Advance to Sectional Competition
* Area Teams Advance in Regional Play
* Peshtigo/Sturgeon Bay Share Packerland Conference Crown
* Peshtigo Claims Packerland Crown

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

New Federal Suit Filed Against Back Forty Mine

Issue Date: November 15, 2018

On Tuesday, Nov. 13 the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking review of the federal government's handling of the wetlands permit for the proposed Back Forty Mine.

"As has been well publicized, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have thus far delegated final permitting authority to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality despite the fact that the proposed Back Forty Mine would be located within 50 yards of the Menominee River in Michigan, and an environmental assessment completed as part of the application process determined that there are a number of potential impacts to the Menominee River as well as to Wisconsin residents" Dale Burie, President of the Coalition said of their group's decision to file the new lawsuit.

He said the EPA had lodged numerous objections to the permit but withdrew those objections at the last minute, based on Michigan's decision to address deficiencies in the permit by imposing material conditions in the permit.

According to Burie, the Coalition's lawsuit is intended to address two issues: (1) Did EPA properly determine that the proposed wetland permit fell within the authority delegated to Michigan; and (2) Was EPA's decision to withdraw its objections to the permit arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with applicable law.

"With so many potential issues affecting Wisconsin, decisions regarding the proposed Mine shouldn't be left to a Michigan state agency," Burie declared. "When you have a boundary water and impacts to more than one state, the federal government should be in charge of making permitting decisions and should make those decisions in accordance with the requirements of federal law."

Burie said the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. is a Wisconsin non-profit corporation dedicated to educating and supporting citizens regarding environmental issues affecting the Menominee River, including potential impacts of the proposed Back Forty Mine.

Burie said one of the issues in their latest suit is that in 1984 EPA gave Michigan the right to make determinations for its own waters, but they did not address regulation of interstate navigable boundary waters like the Menominee River.

Efforts 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 have continued for several years.

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, but apparently he has not yet made a decision. That 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 the Aug. 1 federal court proceedings, 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. 

 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 Aug. 2 Burie announced that his organization had filed its contested Case Hearing petition, challenging MDEQ's decision to grant Aquila Resources the wetlands permit.

In a news release announcing that 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."

He said this week that Aquila cannot start actual construction of the mine until all the conditions have been fulfilled.

Burie and other Back 40 opponents maintain that 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 contested case proceedings are reportedly still pending and reportedly will be handled by an administrative law judge in Lansing, Mich.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
05-22-2019Obituaries
Steven J. Andersen

05-22-2019Obituaries
Bernard M. Anker

05-22-2019Obituaries
Aila V. Austin

05-22-2019Obituaries
Mary Lou Bancroft

05-22-2019Obituaries
Steven J. Baumler

05-22-2019Obituaries
Lester J. Borkovec

05-22-2019Obituaries
Lorraine A. Blazek

05-22-2019Obituaries
Wilbar (Bud) Cox

05-22-2019Obituaries
Rudolf E. Doblinger

05-22-2019Obituaries
Carolyn E. Fiedorowicz

05-22-2019Obituaries
Daniel J. Foley

05-22-2019Obituaries
Joseph K. Frehr Jr.

05-22-2019Obituaries
Ronald C. Herson

05-22-2019Obituaries
Judith Hohmann

05-22-2019Obituaries
Gabriela F. Jacques

05-22-2019Obituaries
Joseph P. Jacques

05-22-2019Obituaries
Frederick H. Jaeger

05-22-2019Obituaries
Elizabeth M. Klatt 

05-22-2019Obituaries
Antoinette Leitzke

05-22-2019Obituaries
Norma J. Miller

05-22-2019Obituaries
Ryker James Plosczynski

05-22-2019Obituaries
David W. Schaal

05-22-2019Obituaries
Harry Struble Jr.

05-22-2019Obituaries
LaVerne A. Tedtman

05-22-2019Obituaries
Gerald Van Rens

05-22-2019Sports
Cougars & Marines Win Conference Titles; Casper & Kretz named Top Golfers

05-22-2019Sports
Area Athletes Advance to Sectional Competition

05-22-2019Sports
Area Teams Advance in Regional Play

05-22-2019Sports
Peshtigo/Sturgeon Bay Share Packerland Conference Crown

05-22-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-22-2019Perspectives
From My Window

05-22-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

05-22-2019Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Committee Aasks Residents to Recycle More

05-22-2019Community - Wausaukee
Lions Region 2 Golf Outing Set for June 1

05-22-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Greenhouse Flower, Vegetable Sale

05-22-2019Community - Wausaukee
Memorial Day Celebration At Athelstane-Silver Cliff

05-22-2019Community - Crivitz
Kids Fishing Day at White Potato Lake

05-22-2019
Crivitz Community Garden Fundraiser

05-22-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion To Host Memorial Shoot

05-22-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz/Stephenson ETZ To Meet May 23

05-22-2019Community - Coleman
Memorial Day Program at Coleman May 27th

05-22-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Classes ൳-'65 Reunion Set for July 14

05-22-2019Community - Coleman
Woman's Club Will Visit Botanical Gardens

05-22-2019Community - Coleman
Memorial for Coleman Graduate

05-22-2019Front Page
Make Plans

05-22-2019Front Page
Steve Stumbris Named As Wausaukee Village Trustee

05-22-2019Front Page
Water Issue Hot Topic At Town Board Meeting

05-22-2019Front Page
Finalize Badger Park Wheelchair Swing Site

05-22-2019Front Page
County Board To Meet On May 28

05-16-2019Obituaries
Steven J. Andersen

05-16-2019Obituaries
Lori A. Atkinson

05-16-2019Obituaries
Angela D. Currie-Brumm

05-16-2019Obituaries
Phyllis A. Casarotto

05-16-2019Obituaries
John W. Harris

05-16-2019Obituaries
Richard Hollingsworth

05-16-2019Obituaries
Nancy L. Jandt

05-16-2019Obituaries
Stephen Klatt, Jr.

05-16-2019Obituaries
Joseph N. La Plante

05-16-2019Obituaries
Tricia Homa-Layne

05-16-2019Obituaries
Walter M. Lund

05-16-2019Obituaries
Sue D. Maye

05-16-2019Obituaries
Margaret M. Neilio

05-16-2019Obituaries
Bruce Norell

05-16-2019Obituaries
Denise M. Odette

05-16-2019Obituaries
Eleanor I. Spaude

05-16-2019Obituaries
Glenn E. Squires

05-16-2019Obituaries
Yoko Swanson

05-16-2019Sports
Peshtigo Claims Packerland Crown

05-16-2019Sports
Crivitz Makes History With First Ever M&O Meet Sweep

05-16-2019Sports
Cougars Beat Rangers in 7th for Conference Crown

05-16-2019Sports
Cougars Defeat Rangers in Shootout For Conference Championship

05-16-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-16-2019Perspectives
From My Window

05-16-2019Perspectives
From our readers

05-16-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Board Hears Reports and Events

05-16-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Greenhouse Flower, Vegetable Sale

05-16-2019Community - Wausaukee
50 Students Awarded for Pollination Pop Quiz

05-16-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Penny Drive Results

05-16-2019Community - Crivitz
Memorial Services at Crivitz and Middle Inlet

05-16-2019Community - Crivitz
Loomis Memorial Cemetery Listings

05-16-2019Community - Crivitz
Kids Fun Run in Crivitz May 19

05-16-2019Community - Crivitz
Healing Mass at Crivitz May 18

05-16-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Holds Off On Rate Increase

05-16-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Graduation is May 18th

05-16-2019Community - Coleman
Memorial Day Program at Coleman May 27th

05-16-2019Front Page
Receive Awards

05-16-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Water Not Contaminated, Still Waiting For Sludge Test Results

05-16-2019Front Page
Perry Announces Candidacy for Marinette County Circuit Judge

05-16-2019Front Page
Wendt Returned As President Of Coleman School Board

05-16-2019Front Page
Riverside Cemetery Association Hears Reports, Equipment Needs

05-09-2019Front Page
Five Departments Battle Marinette House Fire

05-09-2019Front Page
City Sump Pumps Must Not Drain Into Sanitary Sewers

05-09-2019Front Page
Arrest Two in Oconto Death

05-09-2019Front Page
Mike Rogodzinski Joins Pound Village Board

05-09-2019Front Page
Judge Miron to Retire in July, 2020

05-09-2019Community - Wausaukee
Legion Unit Plans SC Annual Picnic

05-09-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Performing Arts To Present Two Plays

05-09-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee High School Commencement May 19th

05-09-2019Community - Wausaukee
Summer Food Plan at Wausaukee District

05-09-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Competes in National Quiz Bowl

05-09-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Community Garden Fundraiser

05-09-2019Community - Crivitz
Register for PTSD Run for Recovery

05-09-2019Community - Crivitz
NEWCare Expands Crivitz Facility

05-09-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Continues Work Toward CDBG Application

05-09-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Schools To Meet May 13

05-09-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Utilities To Meet May 13

05-09-2019Community - Coleman
Memorial Day Program at Coleman May 27th

05-09-2019Sports
Coleman Stays On Top of M&O with One Run Win Over Crivitz

05-09-2019Sports
Crivitz Upsests Coleman as M&O Race Tightens

05-09-2019Sports
Marines Sweep 41st Annual Peshtigo Invite

05-09-2019Sports
Bulldogs, Marines, Cougars Remain Conference Leaders

05-09-2019Sports
Peshtigo Alumni 6th Annual "Pepper Fore Peshtigo" Event

05-09-2019Perspectives
From My Window

05-09-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-09-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

05-09-2019Obituaries
Bryan V. Bayer

05-09-2019Obituaries
Bryan V. Bayer

05-09-2019Obituaries
Bruce C. Blom

05-09-2019Obituaries
Diane Buchert

05-09-2019Obituaries
Jean E. Burns

05-09-2019Obituaries
Myles W. Kempke Cole

05-09-2019Obituaries
David Collier Sr.

05-09-2019Obituaries
Maryann Deschaine

05-09-2019Obituaries
Michael A. Gokey

05-09-2019Obituaries
Patricia A. Gorisek

05-09-2019Obituaries
Helen Mae Hanson

05-09-2019Obituaries
Mary L. Kronauer 

05-09-2019Obituaries
Brad Nernberger

05-09-2019Obituaries
Arnold T. Organ

05-09-2019Obituaries
John Regan

05-09-2019Obituaries
Benjamin R. Rich

05-09-2019Obituaries
John L. Seaborg

05-09-2019Obituaries
Emelyn S. Severson

05-09-2019Obituaries
Beulah M. Spreeman

05-09-2019Obituaries
Audrey M. Waldo

05-09-2019Obituaries
Gilbert E. Wojciechowski

05-02-2019Sports
Peshtigo/Coleman Hold Slim Conference Leads

05-02-2019Sports
Heavy Hitting Coleman Remains On Top of M&O

05-02-2019Sports
Bulldog Boys, Marine Girls Finish Second at St. Norbert Elite Meet

05-02-2019Sports
Coleman/Marinette Claim Conference 9-Hole Events

05-02-2019Sports
Harlem Wizards Visited Marinette, Menominee

05-02-2019Front Page
One Man Saved, One Believed Dead After Boat Flips In Menominee River

05-02-2019Front Page
Law Enforcement Alerted To "Sexting" Complaint In Peshtigo

05-02-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Wastewater May Contain PFOS/PFOA, Drinking Water Is Safe

05-02-2019Front Page
Marinette County Has First Traffic Fatality

05-02-2019Front Page
Sex Offender To Live In Marinette

05-02-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town of Athelstane Action Taken at Annual Meeting

05-02-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausuakee Lion Club Installs New Officers

05-02-2019Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian Church Bake Sale May 10th

05-02-2019Community - Wausaukee
Post 66 Memorial Services on May 26


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you plan on attending any Memorial Day services this weekend?
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