EGLE issues status update on Aquila Back Forty mine project permitting process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 12, 2019
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today issued a new air permit and an updated mining permit to Aquila Resources for its proposed Back Forty mining project in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

Aquila also informed EGLE today that it is withdrawing the project’s dam safety permit application prior to a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline so it can incorporate information determined to be relevant during the review of the project’s contested wetlands permit which is awaiting a decision from an administrative law judge.

Aquila is not authorized to begin construction of the mine and will not be able to proceed until all permits, including the dam safety permit have been approved by EGLE.

EGLE’s top priority in overseeing the permitting of this project remains the protection of the environment. EGLE remains committed to working with all relevant stakeholders in its review of the remaining permit for this proposed project and throughout the life of the project if fully approved.

EGLE is committed to keeping the public informed and maintaining transparency during this complicated, multi-permit process.

EGLE’s Oil, Gas and Minerals Division today issued Aquila an amended mining permit based on technical review of the amendment application and public comment received during 2019.

The addendum to the Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining (Part 632) Permit originally issued in 2016 reflect an administrative law judge’s May 2019 decision upholding the previously issued permit by adding or modifying five permit conditions.

EGLE’s Air Quality Division also today issued a new Air Permit to Install (PTI) reflecting changes to Aquila’s mining plan and public comment on the proposed project.

Aquila is expected to resubmit a dam safety permit application in 2020, which will restart the permit review process from the beginning, including new opportunities for public review and comment.

To stay up to date on EGLE news, go to Michigan.gov/MIEnvironment and follow us on Twitter at @MichiganEGLE.

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