BACK FORTY PROJECT – IS IT A DONE DEAL?
November 23, 2019
NOTE: AQUILA DOES NOT HAVE ALL NECESSARY BACK FORTY PERMITS.
As of November 23, 2019, only ONE of FIVE required permits has been both “issued” and deemed “effective,” and that is the NPDES Permit, #1 on the list below.
- Issued – means that a permit has been signed, not actually “Effective.”
- With Conditions – means a permit is signed and tentatively approved, PENDING a long list of substantive conditions that have to be met before mining could begin; and
- Effective – means the permit has met ALL pre-mine construction conditions (if there were any attached) and the permit is fully granted.
- NPDES Permit: Issued and Effective. This is the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, involving water discharge to the Menominee River.
- Mining Permit 632 Amendment: Amendment (with major changes) to the original Mining Permit 632 was in Public Comment period until July 23, 2019 & still awaiting final decision by EGLE (formerly MDEQ).
- Modified Air Quality Permit: Amendment was in Public Comment period until July 23, 2019 & still awaiting final decision by EGLE.
- Wetland Permit: “Issued” but not “effective” and contains 28 pages, single-spaced typed, of many conditions that would have to be met before it was considered “Effective.” This Permit is also involved in TWO contested cases against the MDEQ (now EGLE) and TWO federal court cases against the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.
- Dam Safety Permit: Still under deliberation by EGLE (formerly MDEQ).
Regarding this Permit:
On 6/20/19, there was an important ruling from Luke Trumble of EGLE. The Project Assessment was not adequate to complete the Review of the project. Much additional information was requested of Aquila. Also, referenced documents were not provided with the application; EGLE asked for more details on 11 substantive issues.
In response to EGLE’s 8/9/19 request for further information regarding the Dam Safety Permit application, Aquila has had two extensions: 10/3/19 and 11/4/19. On 11/4/19 Aquila requested a further extension until 12/31/19. If EGLE has not received the requested information by 12/31/19, Aquila would be required to submit a NEW application for the Dam Safety Permit.