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Tuesday, January 01, 2019

MDEQ to hold Jan. 9 public meeting, comment period on Back 40 Mining Permit Amendment Application

About a year ago (Jan. 23, 2018) the large gym at Stephenson High School was filled with about 500 people attending the four-hour  MDEQ hearing on Aquila Resources' Back 40 mining project application for wetlands permitting. On Jan. 9, 2019, Stephenson High School will again be the scene of a public hearing on the project -- this time on an application for an Amendment to Aquila's Mining Permit. (File photo © and courtesy Emilio Amador Reyes)*

Public Notice from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ):

MARQUETTE -- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD), is holding a public meeting regarding the Back Forty Mine Mining Permit Amendment Application from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2019, at the Stephenson High School, W526 Division Street, Stephenson, Michigan. The Back Forty Project is in Lake Township, Menominee County.

The purpose of the meeting is (1) to inform the public that the MDEQ has received an application from Aquila Resources, Inc., to amend Mining  Permit MP 01 2016, issued under  Part 632, Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, and how to access documents, (2) to provide information regarding the review process, and (3) to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment for MDEQ consideration.

Meeting participants will be asked to fill out an attendance card and indicate intent to speak before entering the meeting area. Oral comment presentations will be limited to three minutes. This limit may be reduced or extended dependent on number of requests to speak. Written comments will also be accepted at the meeting.

MDEQ will also accept written comments regarding the amendment application by mail or e-mail from the day of the meeting until 5:00 P.M. EST, WEDNESDAY, February 6, 2019. Mail your comments to Back Forty Mining Permit Amendment, MDEQ-OGMD, 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855. E-mail your comments to the designated MDEQ mailbox at DEQ-, including "Back Forty Mining Permit Amendment" as the subject. The MDEQ will only consider comments that pertain to the Mining Permit Amendment Application prior to making a final decision. For additional information, contact Melanie Humphrey, MDEQ, Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, 906-250-7564, or e-mail

The Mining Permit Application Amendment documents may be accessed at the following:
Once you are in the FTP site, select the "Mining" directory, then select the "Back Forty project." The amendment documents are:
R-MP Amendment Volume II EIA_Nov. 2018.pdf R-MP Amendment Volume I_Nov. 2018.pdf

A paper copy may be viewed at the Menominee County Public Library, S319 Railroad Street, Stephenson, MI 49887

Individuals needing accommodations for effective participation at the hearing should contact Tina Coluccio, 906-228-4524 one week in advance of the hearing date to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

* Editor's notes: 

Click here to read Keweenaw Now's Feb. 2, 2018, article on last year's hearing.

Click here for links to other documents on the Aquila Back 40 project.