The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn one of its objections to Marquette County Road 595.
The new road would connect the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine with the Humbolt Mill, which will be used as an ore processing center.
The EPA sent the Michigan DEQ a letter on Tuesday, saying it would withdraw its earlier objection to the assessment of possible alternatives to the 595 project.
Congressman Dan Benishek has released a statement on it today.
He says, “The EPA’s decision is a small step forward in the process of getting County Road 595 constructed.”
Benishek later goes on to say, “We can’t let new jobs in Northern Michigan be blocked by federal red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks.”
However, in the same letter, the EPA says it still objects to other aspects of the 595 project.
The agency is concerned about the effects 595 would have on nearby wetlands, streams and wildlife.
The EPA says it still has not received adequate plans to minimize those impacts or a comprehensive plan to mitigate any unavoidable impacts.
The Michigan DEQ now has 30 days to either issue a state permit satisfying the EPA’s concerns in those two areas or to deny the project its state permit.
If neither one of those things happens, the authority over the federal permitting process switches from the EPA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
To read the EPA’s letter, you can click here.
Congressman Benishek’s full response to it can be found here.