ISHPEMING - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has lifted its objection to the Marquette County Road Commission's alternatives analysis for the proposed County Road 595 project, but the federal agency reaffirmed its objection on minimization of impacts and compensatory mitigation plans for impacts to wetlands, streams and wildlife.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has 30 days to issue a permit for the project, which includes measures satisfying the EPA's objections, or deny the road commission's permit. Doing neither would restart the permit application process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, reacted to the news this afternoon.
""The EPA's decision is a small step forward in the process of getting County Road 595 constructed. I have been fighting hard for this project because it has the potential to create many good-paying jobs in the Upper Peninsula," Benishek said. "We can't let new jobs in Northern Michigan be blocked by federal red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks. I am looking forward to continue working with federal, state, and local stakeholders to try to get this job-creating project to keep on moving in a positive direction."
The road commission has scheduled a press conference to Thursday morning to discuss the issue.
See Thursday's print edition of The Mining Journal for more on the story.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.