It was a full house at the Stephenson High School last night for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s public hearing on the Wetlands, Lakes, and Streams permit submitted by Aquila Resources for their Back Forty Project.
Dozens of people spoke largely in opposition of the mine and raised concerns about what they see as inconsistencies in the wetland application and permitting process.
Kathleen Heideman is a board member of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition and wonders why changes to the project’s feasibility analysis by Aquila shows that a second waste area had to be added to the facility design.
However, Jake Nyquist, lifelong resident of the UP says he doesn’t believe the mine poses any threat to the area’s resources and he encourages the DEQ to approve the wetlands permit.
The wetlands permit is the final DEQ permit Aquila needs to begin building the open pit sulfide mine in Lake Township. The DEQ will continue to receive public comment on the application through February 2nd.