The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy held a hearing on the proposed Back 40 Mine in Stephenson, Michigan, on June 25.
Sixty people spoke: 49 against the mine for the potential degradation of the fishing, camping and water-sports industries; and 11 in favor of the mine for its ability to bring jobs to the area. Aquila Resources, which has proposed the metallic sulfide mine on the banks of the Menominee River, has been granted all four of the four permits required by Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality.
Last month an administrative law judge ruled in favor of Aquila in a legal challenge regarding the mining permit. Marinette native Tom Boemer, the Menominee Indian Tribe and the Save the Menominee River Coalition have also challenged the granting of a wetlands permit that has yet to be decided. The Menominee River flows into Green Bay and from there into Lake Michigan. It is directly across from Door County.