Perhaps what was most notable about Monday night’s Menominee City Council meeting was what the council didn’t talk about. A resolution to invite Michigan’s DEQ to a future council meeting to address questions about the conditional wetlands permit issued to Aquila Resources for their Back 40 Mine project had initially appeared on Monday’s agenda, however, council member Bill Plemel motioned at the start of the meeting to have that item removed. That motion passed six-to-three, but not before council member Frank Pohlmann expressed his concerns about perceived discrepancies in the DEQ’s Findings of Fact report completed on April 30th, just weeks before the wetlands permits were issued.
Plemel did add he felt it was against protocol to pass a formal resolution inviting the DEQ to Menominee, but that individual council members could extend that invitation on their own. Paula Mohan is a political scientist from Madison with family ties to Menominee. During public comment, she said the council can-and should- pass a resolution questioning the DEQ and their findings.
Aquila Resources announced the issuance of their conditional wetlands permit in early June and said they would begin pre-construction activities of the sulfide mine immediately.